Rebranding and What it Can do for the MLS

Rebranding and What it Can do for the MLS

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On February 12, 2007

With last week’s fiasco out of Colorado apparently changing their name and then not doing so (reportedly Nike butted heads with the idea over logos and rights to the English Arsenal, MLS doesn’t have Nike jerseys). I thought about how the league has started and came through these past 11 years. Some teams have re-branded themselves, while others haven’t or just won’t.

Let’s face it, DC United has had the mold right from the start. I won’t go into kit designs in this article but when it comes to the logo, it has always looked classy.

The original logo, was classy itself.

I always have liked the Eagle. The newer design just upgraded what was already there.

The logo has and will always be in a class of its own for the league. It started what teams are now catching on to.

Soccer is a sport that has interesting names. When the MLS started in 1996, they tried doing their own Americanized names, but let’s be honest, for the most part, the names and logos were a bad idea.

I was never a fan of the Kansas City name. Wiz, Wizards, it just has never worked. I think honestly, the team has been waiting for either a move out of KC or it’s own stadium for a re-branding experience. I can only hope they do it right.

Let’s look at the Wizards logo evolution so to speak.

This one started it all back in 1996, but due to a copywrite dispute they were renamed to the Wizards that we know and love today. The name itself is actually based off the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, since the story took place in Kansas. If you ask me, its a cheap excuse for a bad name.

They haven’t really moved up in the world of logos and design either.

The Rainbow Warriors sound a little better to me with these logos.

Moving on to another team that I feel got it right with their name but not with their logo. The New England Revolution.

To me this isn’t a shield like most clubs around the world. I have actually enjoyed the name of the team over the years, but for me the logo has lacked something.

Same goes for the Columbus Crew. They too have yet to change a logo, but honestly, they are probably never going to.

The Village People have stayed all these years and will probably never change. Though to me, the crest works in a way. I don’t know why, but it does.

Next in the East, is a New York team. Or a New Jersey team. Hell, they came into the league as the New York/New Jersey Metrostars.

I never liked this team name for a second. The Metro Donkeys were horrible and are in my eyes a laughing stalk still to this day in the league. Though, they are getting better and thankfully they later dropped the NY/NJ tag with this…
…logo that was actually good. They were just the MetroStars. Nothing else. And before Red Bull bought them out it worked. I would have even put them in the good category of logos and names at this point.

Now we all know Red Bull, the drink that gives you wings, owns the team and for some reason the confusion is back about where the team is located. They play in Jersey but say they are from New York. Odd.

…yeah whatever.

Next in line is a team that got it right from the start. I am talking the Chicago Fire folks. Below DC as the best logo in my book (in the East at least).

Like I said, it was done right and shouldn’t change for a long time.

Last but certainly not least, in the East is the new expansion side, Toronto “Please don’t call us Inter” FC.

Yeah, they got it right. I love the Big T in the middle and the maple leaf at the top. It speaks class and I wish them the best of luck in their first season.

Moving out West, you have to start with a team that wisely re-branded themselves a couple years ago. I am talking about FC Dallas.

Now say what you want about the name change itself, it was wise. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Burn name, because in a way to me, it didn’t fit the club.

The little horsey just didn’t inspire me that much as a fan of the team. It was solely because of how Americanized the name was. It just didn’t fit and thankfully that has all changed.

The Hoops got it right with this logo, adding the strong bull in the middle with the Texas state outline on it’s forehead was a great touch. Plus, I love the 96 on the logo, it adds class to a name that is pretty darn classy in my eyes.

Same goes with the new Colorado Rapids look.

coloradorapids3.gifAs I have said before, this never did much for me.

colorado_rapids_logo.gifThis was better…but it still needed something….

newrapids1.jpgNow this works. And will work. Colorado got it right with this one. Again, I am actually glad that there was no name change. I like the Rapids name, it works, it always has really.

The Rapids’ Mountain Cup rival, Real Salt Lake also I think got it right with their logo. Many hate the name, but I am past the name itself.

But with the logo, they got it right. As of a couple years ago, it was different than anything we had seen in the league thus far. Classy really, despite whatever you believe of the name itself.

RSL’s expansion buddy, CD Chivas USA, also has a nice looking logo. Mainly because it was already done for them by their Mexican counterpart. It added a nice flavor to the league.

However, a name and logo that hasn’t worked for me is the LA Galaxy. The name itself I can probably live with but the logos through the years, I have never liked.

Now I couldn’t find the main logo that I was looking for, if you recall back in the 90s, it was a tornado like logo. It was weird, a little unrealistic and it just didn’t invoke creativity for a side that has done fairly well over the years.

I really can’t wait for David Beckham’s arrival to the States to bring a little better taste to this team’s shield and overall look. From what I hear, expect the new colors to be dark blue, black and white.

Last but certainly not least is the reigning champions, Houston Dynamo. I still in a way wish they ended up with the Houston 1836 name. It was different and pretty creative at the time really. But Dynamo has worked for the club that used to be the ClashQuakes to me.

The logo itself isn’t anything special really. It works and honestly their colors really work for me. I don’t know what it is about a team in orange, but it really sparked the league last year. It was new, different, and a little better to look at than the same ol’ blue, red and white teams out there.

I see a couple teams with re-branding in their future. One we definitely know about. But look at what it has done for some teams that are catching up with DC. It is making the league a little more respectable around the world. It will draw more players in and increase the level of interest among the American people.

I love where the league is going right now. I just hope this new season coming up will be nearly as exciting as this off season has been for me. I guess for now, one can only sit and hope.

But honestly, I really still do miss the likes of the two Florida teams…

Both were solid. Man those were the days…only can only image what the league would be like if they were still playing…I guess that is a thought for another day and another article.