Super Bowl logo designer steps out as trans woman
Maureen Raisch, the lead designer of next year’s Super Bowl logo, turned out to be a transgender woman.
Raisch shared her identity in a video posted to Twitter for the recent Transgender Awareness Week.
“I came to a point in my life where I needed to face who my authentic self was to move forward,” she said. “What I’m happy to share is that as daunting as the task is, I have the support and acceptance of my creative team and the league itself. It gives me the strength to become transgender in the NFL. We have an opportunity in the NFL to create change. At creative, we dream of the impossible, but for me, life imitated art. I stand here renamed as my authentic self.
Raisch has been with family, friends and colleagues for seven months, she said Forbes. The pandemic lockdown was actually a boon to her transition, as the NFL let employees work half days, and she used one of them for a makeover. “It was so good and a very special moment for me,” she said in the Forbes maintenance.
When she tweeted her coming out video, she also shared photos before and after the transition and, unlike many trans people, her old name. She don’t consider it a dead name, she said Forbes.
“I don’t really mind my relationship with that name, actually, and I don’t associate the word ‘death’ with it either. I call it my ‘heritage name’, ”she said. “I think of the new Star wars movies: they looked at Harrison Ford as Han Solo and called him “the inherited character”. So I looked at this and thought, Ah, “the inheritance; ” I like this! Because for me, I have published so much work and art under this name, under “Michael”, that this work is part of me. These World Series logos that I designed as early as 2006, 2009, are part of my work as an artist.
Raisch, now 39, worked for 18 years in advertising, marketing and related creative fields. His efforts include logos for the Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros, two Major League Baseball teams, and designs for many other brands and events. She won a Clio, the advertising industry’s most prestigious award.
The logo for Super Bowl LVI, which will be held in February in Los Angeles, was a team project, but she felt it was important to show that a trans woman had a major role in it. “To contribute something of value to the Super Bowl as a brand, to let America know that a trans woman created it, I think that’s a powerful thing,” she said. Forbes.
The NFL is considered a macho and conservative world, but that is changing, Raisch said in the Forbes maintenance. “The NFL is, it’s a microcosm of America,” Raisch said. “These important issues that come to the fore are, you know, race, equality, what Colin Kaepernick was saying. And the mental health of the players, all of that stuff. And somehow I brought up a very relevant conversation about identity, gender, and transitioning to the league. I wanted to be my authentic self, to be balanced, to be whole, to be complete. One of our art directors said it very well: that this conversation, if it starts with the NFL, it can spread to America. “