As we know by now, when the Washington Spirit revealed its new 2023 home and away jerseys Wednesday evening, the move to black and white did not just serve as the reveal of the new look for the club. It signaled the start (or continuation of the process to evaluate everything about the club in a potential full rebrand.
Speaking with The District Press’ André Carlisle, Spirit majority owner Y. Michele Kang proclaimed “everything’s on the table” when discussing the rebrand, including the team name. “We’re trying to get input from the fans, the community, the players and so forth,” Kang said regarding the rebrand process. “So I can’t predict, we’ve got a lot of experts working with us so we’re gonna be very careful, the fans’ input is very important. At the end of the day they identify with us, it’s not just the name but overall the kind of vision and philosophy behind us.”
Those comments from Kang explicitly say that the club is looking at every single detail as they seek to change its branding and as Kang begins to put her stamp on the team, beginning with a “clean slate” with the solid black and solid white jerseys.
That clean slate includes a review of the team colors and crest, but it also includes the team name. The Washington Spirit name is one that goes back to the beginning of the NWSL, rising from the ashes of the Washington Freedom of the WUSA and WPS. It certainly has some brand recognition not just in the DMV, where the team has played in Maryland, Virginia, and the District, but also across the league. However, moving into Audi Field full time starting this season, there is a chance to rebrand the team similar to that of the soccer team by which it shares a home.
Most teams in Washington, DC use “Washington” in their name, and the Spirit are no exception. Neither were the Freedom, who were around from 2001 until they rebranded as magicJack in 2011 and moved to South Florida. DC United, for a long time, was the only team in the area that used “DC” in its name instead of “Washington.” They have since been joined by the XFL’s DC Defenders as well as Major League Rugby’s Old Glory DC. Every other team in DC, with the exception of the NBA G League’s Capital City Go-Go, use “Washington” in their name. While the Spirit used Washington, the DC is also prominent at the top of their crest.
So, with that information at your disposal, we ask you 2 very simple questions:
- Should the Washington Spirit change their name?
- If so, what should that new name be?
You know what to do…the comments are here for everyone to debate as we get the pulse of our great community on what the Spirit’s rebrand direction should be!