New owner Jimmy Haslem spoke to the press today and seemed very genuine and honest about his family’s ownership of the Browns and his investment in the city of Cleveland. Haslem isn’t pretending that he is going to be a full-time resident of the city (they will be purchasing a home for the time they do spend in Cleveland) nor did he promise to look at moving some of his Pilot home operations away from Knoxville.
And when asked about the naming rights to the stadium and the colors and uniforms of the team, I believe he was honest as well.
He considers that part of the team marketing. And he is a business man. If you are reading between the lines, I’m pretty sure that means the winds of change will be blowing.
And I know that a good portion of the fan base would be outraged by such a move.
But I think it’s time to embrace change.
Around the site I’m pretty well regarded as the “resident old guy”, and certainly a traditionalist.
I’m also getting to the point where I could care less if the team has on an Orange jersey, a Brown jersey or a flying pig on the side of the helmet. I want to cheer for a winner. Would I love if the team went to the Super Bowl with the current look? Absolutely. But if they go to the Super Bowl with a different look, I’ll still be screaming for them to win just as hard. And probably wearing whatever new merchandise the marketing people roll out.
We’re funny that way as sports fans. We would really rather just win. Truth be told, they’ll still let you into the stadium with a ticket no matter which era jersey or logo you are sporting,
You ever notice how many Leroy Hoard jerseys you still see people wearing? Is it because they really like Leroy Hoard? Or is it because they bought a nice jersey a while back, and let’s face it they haven’t changed that much aside from some sleeve stripe variations. They still fit right in aesthetically with the rest of the fan base. From a marketing perspective, that isn’t good business.
When Lerner purchased the expansion team it was pretty important that he bring back the colors and the tradition of the uniforms. We had been robbed of that identity and fought hard to get it back. But that time has come and gone.
The team won’t make any changes to the uniform this season. They couldn’t if they wanted to. Changes have to be made with the league well in advance of the season. But don’t think that Nike won’t be hard at work coming up with a design to pitch to the new ownership group.
And the stadium? I don’t know who will front the money for the rights to name it, but it will happen. So it might be a good idea to get used to it.