Why Redskins Insider lost its name

Maybe you’ve wondered why the Redskins Insider Live videocast became the Football Insider Live videocast. Or why the Redskins Insider blog became The Insider blog. Or why the Redskins Insider twitter feed became the Insider twitter feed.

Well, wonder no more. Paul Farhi, writing in Tuesday’s Style section, has your answers.

The Redskins, who have been at the forefront in creating their own multimedia operations, have been aggressive in policing the use and misuse of their “brand” by others.

For many years, the “Redskins” name was used freely in the titles of local sports highlight shows on TV and radio. No longer. The team put an end to the practice several year ago, now only permitting “authorized” uses of its name — that is, under contractual agreement. Comcast SportsNet is the “official” TV network of the team, for example, and airs a highlight program called “Redskins Nation” hosted by Larry Michael, a broadcaster who is an employee of the team. At the same time, the Redskins produce a half-dozen interview and promotional TV shows through the team-owned Redskins Broadcast Network. The programs air on local stations during the football season.

The Redskins recently asked The Washington Post to rename the newspaper’s video webcast and blog about the team, which was called “Redskins Insider,” according to people who have knowledge of the circumstances. The team had used the name “Redskins Insider” first, and The Post agreed to switch to “Football Insider.”

Well, that’s cool. Well played, Washington Football Team. I only wish the Washington Nationals, Capitals and Wizards were as forward-thinking about protecting their brands from the scarcy specters of the Nationals Journal, Capitals Insider and Wizards Insider Web logs.

(Note: I didn’t tell any higher-ups that I was writing this. The snarkiness does not reflect the opinion of The Washington Post; merely of this writer. Yes, of course, businesses have legitimate rights to protect their copyrights, and I’d possibly be bitter if there were a blog about The Post called Washington Post Insider. Etc.)

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.

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