Think of it as a sneak preview of what's to come in 50 days.
The Browns' new primary mark, unveiled today after two years' worth of in-house research and constant dialogue with numerous Browns fans, combines the backbone of the team's storied past with a nod to the future. The modernized secondary logo, making its debut in the midst of the Dawg Pound's 30-year anniversary, represents a refreshed, unifying look for the best fans in the NFL.
As promised by Jimmy Haslam when he took over as owner in 2012, the historic orange helmet's design hasn't been touched. Instead, it's been revitalized with a more colorful, vibrant hue of orange and a brown facemask that embodies the toughness that's been synonymous with Cleveland for centuries and with the Browns since they embarked on their first season 69 years ago. The iconic brown and white stripe down the middle of the helmet remains a staple.
Tradition, meet evolution.
"When we first joined the Browns, we talked to our fans about a whole lot of things, including the prospect of evolved logos or new uniforms," Browns president Alec Scheiner said. "What we heard from our fans was they wanted to help us push our look and feel forward while respecting the tradition. As we went through that process, we thought there could be a way to do both, so we're really excited about this first step."
Keeping with tradition, the primary mark is a direct representation of the helmets Cleveland will wear on game day in 2015 and beyond. Those modified helmets and uniforms will be revealed April 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Cleveland Convention Center. More information about the uniform reveal will be available at a later date.
The Browns have been the only team in the NFL that has its primary mark directly match the players' helmets, and that isn't changing.
"I think it gives you a sense of the color that we're moving forward with and it also gives you a sense that we will respect the Browns tradition," Scheiner said. "But I think you'll see with the uniforms, we received a bit more permission from our fans to move our organization forward and we're really excited with what that means in respect to the uniforms."
Don't mess with the helmet.
In countless interactions with Browns fans young and old, the request remained constant. Though the revised mark went through multiple evaluations and modifications, the non-decaled look, which has served as the team's main logo since 1970, was ever-present.
Haslam, Scheiner, Executive Vice President - Chief Revenue Officer Brent Stehlik, VP of Fan Experience and Marketing Kevin Griffin and many others within the organization tapped into the expertise of Nike and NFL HQ for potential design concepts during the early brainstorming sessions. Ultimately, though, the final mark was picked by the team in a nod to modern-day Cleveland, which is similarly evolving with the times while maintaining its rich history.
The upcoming reveal of the Browns' new uniforms coupled with the 30th anniversary of the Dawg Pound provided a natural platform for a similar evolution to the secondary logo. The refreshed mark provides a quintessential reflection of Cleveland's players, coaches and fans, all of whom embody the six characteristics -- accountable, relentless, productive, passionate, tough, competitive -- of Play Like a Brown.
"We really thought it was important to embrace the Dawg Pound when we got here," Scheiner said. "We thought it'd be important to look to see if we can find a logo working with our fans and working with the league that more kind of exemplifies what the Dawg Pound is all about."