Washington Football Team Engages Petra Pope to Create First-of-its-Kind Dance Program

Veteran NBA Executive Joins Game Day Experience Team as Part of the Washington Rebranding Journey

March 3, 2021 9:00 AM EST

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LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va., March 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Washington Football Team today announced that it has named Petra Pope senior advisor. Pope is the latest in a series of planned personnel moves first announced in February that will advance Washington's total rebranding effort. The campaign will culminate in the creation of a new brand identity, including an official name for the Burgundy & Gold and a reimagined approach to fan engagement and gameday experiences.

"Petra's NBA track record speaks for itself," said Jason Wright, Washington Football Team president. "Teams across sports aspire to develop entertainment and halftime programs like the legendary creative work Petra was able to produce with the Knicks, Nets, Lakers, and Clippers. As we set out to modernize the Washington Football gameday, it's important that we develop a top-notch entertainment program that keeps our fanbase excited and connected to the game and the team. We believe Petra is the ideal person to lead this charge and bring her extraordinary background to the gridiron."

Pope will be directly responsible for the creation of gameday entertainment programs and the selection and training of its personnel. Pope's engagement is reflective of the team's commitment to creating a new gold standard for dance, while ensuring Washington's rich history lives on for the next generation of fans.

"This is a dream opportunity," said Pope. "Washington is one of the most historic franchises in the most popular league in the country. We have a chance to fundamentally transform what fans expect from the NFL experience."

Under Pope's leadership, the team will develop a fresh modern approach that emphasizes athleticism, dance and entertainment, and evaluate everything from costumes and choreography to team construct, including creation of the team's first co-ed squad.  

Pope will work alongside the Team's new vice president of guest experience, Joey Colby-Begovich, who will have a broad remit to redesign everything from overall stadium atmosphere to music, entertainment, food and beverage, and even parking logistics.

"The NBA has long embraced innovative dance and halftime shows, but most NFL teams have remained more oriented towards traditional cheerleading programs," added Pope. "Last season, Washington established itself as the most forward-thinking, progressive organization in the league. It is fitting that it would be first to develop a vision of the future.  Fans can expect an experience like none other – a gender-neutral and diverse squad of athletes and dancers whose choreography, costumes, props, tricks and stunts will rival the best entertainment across genres and really inspire and 'wow' our fans."

"The Washington Football Team has always done an incredible job connecting with the community," concluded Pope. "That is certainly an area that we'll not only continue, but expand. Washington has so much to offer and I look forward to building an inclusive program that involves men and women, professionals and local amateurs, performers and musical artists. Our goal is to make every game a Super Bowl experience."

Pope launched her 33-year career in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers, where she first made her stamp on gameday programming as the manager of the famous Laker Girls. Her success with the Lakers led to a 14-year role with the New York Knicks, during which she launched the Knicks City Dancers and saw the scope of her role – and acclaim around the league – grow steadily at "The World's Most Famous Arena." In 2005, Pope joined the New Jersey Nets, where she eventually led the redesign of the team's entertainment experience, coinciding with its move to Brooklyn and the Barclays Center. Since 2016, Pope has been a sought-after consultant, aiding teams like the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Clippers – with whom she appeared on the E! channel's reality TV series "LA Clippers Dance Squad" – with their entertainment programming.

-Washington Football Team Established 1932-


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SOURCE Washington Football Team

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