BLOG | by Victor Gras

Redskins re-naming announcement shifts needle on what public are hearing about the team

It’s been a challenging few weeks for Washington’s NFL team and its fans.

First, pressure built for the franchise to change its name, following the rise of Black Lives Matter movement. Then news of its decision to formally review its brand was quickly overtaken by the publication of allegations of sexual harassment within the organisation.

We’ve been tracking the public’s perceptions of the team daily as part of our YouGov TeamIndex tool to see what effect the spotlight of publicity has had on its reputation.

As you would expect, more and more people – both among NFL fans and the general population – are talking about the Washington team, as our Word of Mouth metric shows (have you talked about the team in the past two weeks?). So much so, that around one in five of the public have done so.

But we also measure positive and negative sentiment in what people are hearing too – as part of our Buzz metric, which calculates a net score.

What that metric tells us is that the tide may be turning for the Washington team. Since it made its announcement to review its name and logo on July 13, the team’s Buzz score, which had been on a long and steady downturn over the past 30 days, has begun to tick up again.

The recovery was de-railed slightly as a result of the serious allegations of sexual harassment – and scores remain in the negative side of the chart – but the Washington team looks to be making at least some of the right moves as it aims to redeem its reputation.

BLOG | by Victor Gras

Head of Client Services

Joining YouGov Sport in March 2018, Victor brings seven years of global sports sponsorship expertise. In his last role, he led Nielsen’s Market Intelligence activity across all US verticals, working with brands, rights holders and agency clients. He also worked previously with the New York Road Runners, where he helped TCS launch the title partnership of the NYC Marathon, as well as with the ASO, optimizing sponsorship strategies for the Tour de France and the Paris Marathon.


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