Over the last few years, there has been increasing controversies regarding the name and logo of the Washington Redskins. Much of the controversy is drawn from issues of racism and disrespect to Native Americans. Individuals also cite that the name and logo of the football team are extremely offensive to the Native American tribes, which has served to create a negative public perception about the team. Often, a sports team can act like a brand, and the fans as consumers. As such, the perception of fans regarding the team is of great importance, as it can affect the productivity and overall performance of the team. However, there are various ways through which organizations can utilize to improve public perception. Similar to other organizations, Washington Redskins requires effective and appropriate marketing and public relations tactics that will improve how fans view the team. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the various options that Washington Redskins can utilize to improve its reputation and how fans view it.
First, the team should enhance transparency. Perhaps, this is the most important tactic the Washington Redskins can use. Throughout the controversy surrounding the franchise's name and its logo, it is apparent that the crucial relationships with the media, fans, and the overall society were fissured. All the stakeholders derived from the perception that the team embraced a name and logo that was considered racist. To repair such broken relationships, a key and immediate way would be ensuring transparency in all processes (Lindberg, 2014). While this does not mean involving all the aforementioned stakeholders in the decision making and strategic processes, it involves ensuring some degree of inclusion in an effort to boost loyalty.
Offering exclusivity is yet another public relations tactic that will boost the relationship between the team and the media. It is evident that there exist stiff competition within the conventional advertising platforms. An essential method of attracting media outlets to cover a story regarding the team is offering them exclusivity. Therefore, this means that the team's public relations department does not offer press releases to different outlets. Rather, it targets a single outlet that seems legitimate and has great coverage. Providing such an outlet with an exclusive will serve to cultivate a long-term positive relationship between the brand and the media, as well as fans who are covered by the media outlet.
Using native advertising is another tactic for the Washington Redskins. In its simplest form, native advertising refers to a form of media that applies content that fits into the natural environment. Often, native advertising appears very different from mainstream advertising. Rather, it appears like a common piece of content aimed at introducing new audiences to the brand. Native advertising can help the Washington Redskins, since it is not considered self-promotional. It blends into the environment, and will introduce the team to new audiences.
One more public relations and marketing tactic that can improve the public perception of the Washington Redskins is listening and applying the voice of the fans. This means involving fans. Evidently, the Washington Redskins still has a large and dedicated fan base comprising of loyal and football-savvy Americans who continue to support the team, regardless of the controversy surrounding its name and logo. While engaging this group might come as a challenge, it is a crucial activity, if the team wishes to improve how the public views its name and logo. A key way to achieve this is by running a public relations campaign encouraging individuals and small agencies to help with redesigning the company's logo. This way, this group not only feels valued, but also engaged. This boosts their level of confidence and loyalty towards the team.
Lindberg, M. (2014). Football clubs as brands and their supporters as consumers-how SL Benfica can attract new fans and satisfy current ones (Doctoral dissertation).
Silver, C. (2014). 4 steps the Redskins should take to rebrand - Digiday. Retrieved from https://digiday.com/marketing/4-steps-redskins-take-rebrand/
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