Last year, two prominent American sports franchises announced that they would be changing their names.
Those organizations took different approaches. Washington elected to be known immediately as the Football Team while a permanent name was chosen that did not have ties to Native American imagery.
Cleveland’s baseball team elected to continue on as the “Indians” through the 2021 season while a committee worked on a new moniker.
But as Washington is still deep in the process of choosing a new name, Cleveland has already completed it.
As of 2022, the city’s baseball team will be known as the Guardians.
The franchise made that announcement with a video narrated by Tom Hanks, whose first professional job was in Cleveland at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival.
“We protect what we’ve earned and always defend it,” Hanks says in the video. “Together we stand with all who understand what it means to be born and built from The Land. Because this is a city we love and the game we believe in. And together, we are all Cleveland Guardians.”
The name is partially a reference to the Guardian statues that can be seen on the Hope Memorial Bridge, which is just a short distance away from the franchise’s home stadium, Progressive Field.
In contrast, Football Team president Jason Wright recently told the Washington Post that Washington’s new name and logo will be revealed in early 2022. The burgundy and gold colors will remain the same.
However Washington chooses to announce the name and logo, Football Team executives are likely looking at Cleveland’s rollout for some lessons on what to do and what to do better.