The Browns are sticking with tradition. Like it or not.
The only NFL franchise whose primary logo is also its iconic helmet, Cleveland updated the design with a bolder orange and a brown face mask, subtle changes the team believes honors its history and hints at bigger variations to the Browns' new uniforms.
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Team president Alec Scheiner said the team spent two years working on modifying the team's primary and secondary logos as well as the Nike-designed uniforms, which will be unveiled on April 14.
"What we wanted to accomplish here, and what our fans essentially gave us permission to do," Scheiner said, "is push forward but don't lose track of our tradition."
The Browns' helmets will also remain logo-less.
Cleveland's "new" logo isn't much different than its previous one, and the team's hyped roll out of the modified helmet — as well as a secondary "Dawg Pound" logo — was quickly criticized by some Browns fans on social media sites. Many felt let down again by a team that has made the playoffs just once since its 1999 expansion rebirth and undergone multiple changes on and off the field.
Scheiner said the team expected some backlash.
"We get feedback from our fans," he said. "There are some fans who would prefer we don't change anything, and there are a whole lot that would like us to evolve even faster and that's just part of it."
Scheiner said the Browns' new uniforms may satisfy some fans who want the team to deviate from its old ways. There was internal discussion about changing the logo, but in the end the Browns wanted to honor what makes them unique.
"We spent a lot of time discussing it," Scheiner said. "The most important thing is that we're the only NFL team whose primary mark matches the helmet, and we thought that departing from that would be too radical a departure, but kind of evolving that logo would be a good step for us."
Scheiner said research done through focus groups showed that fans wanted to modernize the team's look, but insisted the Browns stay true to their storied past. Scheiner said the Browns did discuss putting a logo on the helmet, which will be the same orange hue as the new logo. The team's primary logo also includes fresh lettering.
Nike did not suggest any change in color scheme to the Browns, Scheiner said. He would not provide any clues about what the Browns will look like on the field next season other than the uniforms will also recognize the past with an eye on the future.
"We're always trying to strike a balance, so I feel like Nike and the NFL and people in our building have done a really good job with that," he said. "Even though it will be more radical than the mark's evolution, I think we're still keeping things that our fans care about."