- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On July 28, 2010
- 12 Comments
I’ve never been the biggest fan of rebranding a team in any sport. To me its almost like contraction in sports, something that should be done at a last resort. But then again rebranding has done good for some teams over the years so I do see some value in teams remaking themselves into something better.
In Major League Soccer rebranding is a very tricky business. Over the year’s we’ve seen only a couple clubs rebrand their image to the public via new logo, name and colors. Its more tricky in MLS right now for clubs to rebrand because all the clubs are still fairly young with only a small majority now being original clubs. Going away from that short history with a name is tough to do and something that has to be carefully looked at.
I bring all of this up because word around the net is that the Kansas City Wizards are looking to possible rebrand themselves when they move into their new stadium next year. Down the Byline (great KC blog BTW) talks today about KC president Robb Heineman discussion on rebranding the club next year. According to them the club will likely go for new colors and possibly even a new name, Sporting KC.
Sporting KC huh? Based on conversations on Twitter earlier today most people don’t like the name. I for one don’t either. Bucking the tradition built on the Wizards name is dumb to move away from if you’re OnGoal (KC’s owners). I can see a need for rebranding the Wizards logo into something new for the new stadium but a new name for the team makes little sense.
Look at how LA rebranded itself when David Beckham came over, at first I wasn’t totally on board with the idea but when the logo came out along with the new jerseys it totally worked fine for me. They didn’t move away from the Galaxy name but they made it better. Kansas City can do that with what they have now in the Wizards.
The Colorado Rapids also did a rebrand a couple years back. They nearly went to the name Colorado Arsenal or Arsenal Colorado but came back to the old Rapids name with a new logo and look which greatly upgraded their image.
In a similar instance look at FC Dallas. They rebranded a few years back before they moved into a new stadium. New logo, name, colors and everything. In some ways it hurt them as some fans didn’t like the new name. Over time people have gotten used to it but I’ll still get questions from random folks in town about “the Burn”.
Like I said rebranding is tricky business for MLS clubs. If KC does it right we’ll all be happy for them and move on but if they go the route that Mike at Down the Byline is worried they will go to then it looks like we’ll all have another name to get annoyed at like Real Salt Lake or Chivas USA.
Also I think that for the Wizards right now getting a new name is not the best time. They just beat Manchester United in one of the biggest upsets in team history. Even though a majority of those fans at Arrowhead were there for ManU they also probably got a good taste of the Wizards and what they’re about too. Changing a name after building momentum from that win seems like a bad idea to me. Just confuses new fans more than anything.
So if KC does change their name what would you like to see it changed to? Does Sporting KC bother you or will you be okay with that? Or do you think rebranding the club with a new name is a bad idea?