New Washington Commanders owners working to rebuild trust

Josh Harris grew up in Chevy Chase.

He told stories about going to RFK Stadium as a kid, the feeling of the stadium rocking, how his family could never get season tickets because the waitlist was too long.

Mitch Rales remembered taking the bus from Friendship Heights with his three brothers and how they loved going to home games.

The Washington Commanders are communicating to fans that this is personal, but there's a lot of work to do, adding fans will be the center of it all.

This sale brought Commanders fans together in a way they rarely do in Late July. Thursday night when the sale was announced, gatherings.

Friday afternoon at FedEx Field, a pep rally.

Jay Nash and others felt like they had to be here.

"I live in Ahoskie, North Carolina," Nash said, "My first thought was fill my gas tank up drive up here and celebrate."

"It's been dragging too long and now we can start all over again," Roxine Taylor said.

Rio Robinson called it "Probably the best moment of my fan life."

"The good times definitely look like they're coming back. This looks like a new era," said Hank Boyd, Marketing Professor at the University of Maryland.

Boyd says personal stories from these new owners and an acknowledgement of the fans frustrations, are the right notes.

"What great marketing is all about is that you gotta put yourself in the shoes of the fans," Boyd said.

Alongside new co-owner Magic Johnson: the ownership group knew about the challenges of the immediate past and the impact it had on fans, adding there's work to do to improve the fan experience with this team.

"I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to this city to win championships. To create a positive impact on the community, and create great experiences and memories for future fans just like I had growing up as a kid," Harris said.

"It's about excellence, best in class, doing everything the right way then over-delivering to our fan base. And we're going to do just that," Magic Johnson added.

"I think as long as they're making meaningful steps, and it doesn't feel disingenuous, fans will get it and say ok, we can re-engage now. It's like that, cloud is now gone and we can now come back," Boyd said.

Boyd also said showcasing diversity in ownership is important.

Magic Johnson was emotional talking about how meaningful it was for him to be one of few African-American owners in the league.

All these sentiments were spelled out in a wrap-around ad Josh Harris took out in the Washington Post Sunday telling fans they'll work to improve culture, invest, and "Deliver a franchise you can be proud of."

The work starts sooner rather than later for all as training camp begins this week.