Turning an idea from nothing into something.Posted on April 21, 2014 by Adam Bradley
If there is one thing all fans have in common besides the desire for their team to win a championship: all fans want to desperately have a voice.
They long to have an influence on the team's decisions and directions but often feel the team is to big to hear their little voice. In most cases thats true. In the case of Ted Leonsis' led teams, that is not the case.
Leonsis has historically been known to be one of the most open, accessible and transparent sports owners in sports history. When the Wizards come home for Game 3 vs. the Chicago Bulls one of the first things fans on TV and in attendance will notice is an example of Ted's openness and accessibility to fans.
Leonsis announced today via his blog Ted's Take, that on Friday the team will "help wardrobe (fans) by distributing red, white & blue T-shirts created by CustomInk courtesy of GEICO that will create three distinct sections of Verizon Center." The Wizards later went on to announce in more detail section 100 will receive red shirts, sections 200 and 300 given white shirts and section 400 will get blue shirts. The color layout is designed to match the red, white and blue of the Wizards uniforms and serve as a visual representative of Washington DC and our Nations Capital.
How cool is that? Golden State's Gold Rush and Oklahoma City's Thunder Blue won't create the spectacle the patriotic red, white and blue is expected to create.
So where did this idea come from? Thats the coolest part of the story.
It all started when @CarbonPrimo (Jeris) sent out the following tweet sharing his idea.
For Wizards home playoff games they should give away red shirts on upper, white on club and blue on main concourses to match home jerseys.— J.J. (@CarbonPrimo) March 16, 2014
Myself and a few of the other @WizardsXTRA guys saw the idea, loved it and started talking about it. At that point, @Arthur_HoGuards (Arthur) jumped in and started creating some design mock-ups and sharing it on Twitter.
WizardsXTRA kept the momentum going and wrote up a story sharing the ideas of Jeris and Arthur. More people began to see it and more people began talking about it.
At that point, I suggested to Zach Leonsis he hear this very cool idea from a Wizards fan regarding the upcoming playoffs. Leonsis and the marketing team reached out to the fan and invited him to share his idea and told him the Wizards would be happy to review it. So Jeris did just that.
Over the next 24-hours Jeris began putting pen to paper and started writing his letter to the Wizards and Ted Leonsis. He consulted with a few people on Twitter during the process, guys like @TruthAboutIt and @AsadNaqviDMV and then sent over the finished product to the Wizards.
You can view JJ's presentation to the Wizards here.
The Wizards front office reviewed it and were thoroughly impressed but at the time couldn't commit to it because of the many factors surrounding a t-shirt sponsorship.
It wasn't until today that the decision was finally announced from Leonsis.
Although the original idea was to match the sequence of the Wizards uniforms; red at the top, white and then blue at the bottom, I personally think the fact they flipped it around is for the better.
So this Friday there won't be a red out or a white out at the Verizon Center, there will be a patriotic, nation capital, Washington DC themed red, white and blue out and it is sure to look spectacular.
How many professional sports teams will allow an idea one Sunday morning from a fan on Twitter to influence their decision in this manner? Not many.
I'm just excited I get to cheer this Friday for one that does.