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'Change the Mascot' campaign garners support from across the country

By SPENCER DAVIDSON

Update: The entry period for 99designs' Redskins rebranding contest came to a close yesterday with 1,931 entries submitted. Currently, the judges have it narrowed down to eight finalists, with a poll open to the public to vote for their favorite one.

Anyone is able to vote in this contest simply by visiting the link right here. Voting will be open through Friday at the very least, and the winner will be announced at some point next week. Stay tuned for more updates regarding the results.

SAN FRANCISCO (WKTV) - With the Oneida Indian Nation pushing for the NFL's Washington Redskins to change their name, citing the nickname to be offensive to Native Americans, it appears that the cause has gained national attention.

After Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter appeared on NBC's Meet The Press in a one-on-one interview to discuss the issue, he then followed to bring the "Change the Mascot" campaign to the NFL Fall meetings, in Washington, last week to further the discussion.

The New York Daily News reported, Wednesday, that the NFL now plans to meet with the Oneida Indian Nation at some point within the next month, either at the NFL offices in New York City, or at the Nation's base in Verona, N.Y., to discuss the potential name change more directly.

With all of the national attention that the cause has been gaining over the past few weeks, a San Francisco-based graphic design marketplace has now started their own contest to help promote a potential mascot transformation.

99designs launched a Logo Design Contest, last week, in order to challenge over 250,000+ designers from all over the world to re-brand the Redskins.

According to Lauren Gard, PR Manager at the company, the contest is asking designers to create logos for hypothetical names such as, The Warriors, The Renegades, and The Griffins.

The contest is aimed at finding creative new designs for the Redskins organization that may provide team owner, Daniel Snyder, with a basis for considering transforming his organization.

Submissions for the contest end, Wednesday, with judges consisting of journalists Robert McCartney (The Washington Post), Ken Meringolo and Kevin Ewoldt (Hogs Haven), to choose the finalists.

Currently, the contest has 1,600+ entries, all vying to become the winner, whose design will be launched to a public poll, and who will receive $500 in cash.

99designs is no stranger to sports-related community contests. Since their launch in 2008, they have held contests to help come up with new logo designs for the NBA's New Orleans Pelicans (formerly the Hornets), as well as the NFL's Miami Dolphins.

With the "Change the Mascot" contest seemingly gaining a lot of steam in terms of public attention and support, this contest may very well contain a logo design that the Washington-based NFL franchise dons at some point in the future.

With the Oneida Indian Nation gaining more and more national support, and with 99design promoting creative concepts for a potentially new look, it appears as though the name change may be much closer to a reality than it has ever been.

However, the decision to change the name ultimately rests with owner Daniel Snyder, and at this point, it doesn't seem as though he is in any rush to make the change. He said that while he respects the opinions of those who want the name changed, the team can't ignore its history.

"After 81 years, the team name 'Redskins' continues to hold the memories and meaning of where we came from, who we are, and who we want to be in the years to come," said Snyder.

Not everybody may be happy with the thought of a storied franchise going through such a major revamp, however, if the sports industry has taught fans anything over the past few years, it is that change is all a part of the business.

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