A day after his press conference in which he expounded on all things Wizards, Ted Leonsis wants to clarify a few things regarding a potential name change. Leonsis again reiterates that both a name and color change will be considered, but there are many more pressing matters to be addressed before the issue can even be considered:
In regards to a name change of the team, we have a lot of work to do right now on re-crafting the team itself, focusing on the draft, our number 1 pick, free agency, selling season tickets, suites and club seats, new interactive outreach programs, working with customers, prospects and media, crafting a new organizational structure aimed at maximizing our services to customers, working on making the Verizon Center the best it can be for our community, and finding new and improved ways to serving our communities of interest.
The NBA also has a lot of work to do on negotiating a new CBA with the players and working with everyone on a new business model that is fair to all.
But Ted, I want to change the name RIGHT NOW! I have to live with other NBA fans making fun of my team and its minor league name. I have to deal with the fact that teal and bronze matches NOTHING ELSE in my wardrobe. But you listen to the fans, and you're going to change everything soon, right?
With all of that going on understanding that to effectuate a name change could take two to three years. This simply isn’t a priority for us right now. We can’t change the name of the team for next season. It is June and the new season starts in October. There will be no name change. We can’t change the name. It is pretty simple.
We can change the colors more easily than the name. We will look into that as part of an overall brand uplift and updating project. That could happen as soon as the following season, but NOTHING new can happen next season. It is too late in the off season to have any changes at all. I am sorry but schedules and production of materials etc. are set years ahead of time.
As time goes on and we meet our goals, we can look into every issue our fans have about our team, but to focus and discuss an issue that can’t be fixed in the short term is not a good decision by anyone. I am not tone deaf but I am a realist and we must focus on the immediate tasks at hand. I hope this clarifies the issues to you all and helps the anger I see in emails and blog post commentary subside a bit. We will listen. But vision and strategy without execution is hallucination!
Bummer. Before you all go and find a cliff to jump off, remember that the Capitals had to endure a prolonged period of purgatory in those awful black and bronze uniforms before emerging as a red, white and blue phoenix. I'm confident that Leonsis will make the right decision, and even if doesn't restore our rightful name, he will at least give us our colors back. Maybe then we can all safely move out of the 1990s and into the 21st century.