Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wizards Looking to Rebrand with New Stadium?

I'd been waiting to write this as I did not hear the information myself and was hoping that Sports Radio 810 would get the segment podcasted for me to listen to, but they have not, so I'm going in a little blind here. So forgive me if I don't get the total context of the quote. Yesterday on Between the Lines, Robb Heineman was interviewed by host Kevin Keitzman about all things Wizards, including the Manchester United game and the team's new stadium. During the course of the discussion, Heineman mentioned that the team was "looking at rebranding".
I think most Wizards fans accepted that there would be at least one change to the team next season, and that would have been a re-done logo. The currently mostly word mark logo has been the team's primary logo since OnGoal's first full season in charge in 2007 and has been on the team's jersey since their new jerseys in 2008. Most people would consider the current logo an upgrade to the previous one that included a portion of a rainbow trailing a soccer ball.

Still a rebranding would seem to imply that the team will be doing more than replacing the logo. It seems like it would point to a name change and potentially a color change as well. Rumors of this change coming when the stadium opens have been running around for a while. One thought people had was that the team will change their colors more to match those of the scarf that was given to season ticket holders at the start of the season.
Other thoughts have thoughts have the name Wizards going out as well as the colors. There's been rumors posted in comments around the net saying that the Wizards will be changing to Sporting KC, or something similar to that. But in regards to that, I'm not finding any trademarks currently registered for Sporting Kansas City.

As for the rebranding, I'm against it. This team is the Wizards, has been since 1997. They've won an MLS Cup, appeared in another final, won a Supporters' Shield, and a US Open Cup all under the Wizards name. There's been a history that has developed with the name and with the supporters of the club. People can come out and say "well it's only 14 years" but all history needs to start somewhere and develop, my question is why throw that away, especially if it's for a Europoserish name like Sporting KC. That name does nothing for me except show a poor attempt to try and bring in fans of European league by giving the team a name that sounds like it's from Europe. These fans that they're trying to bring in were also the ones that complained about the jerseys originally, and the count up clock, and the shootout. Those went away, then they complained about the overtime, then it was the style of play and the time of year. These fans are always going to be coming up with excuses to support their European team over MLS, changing the name isn't going to bring them over.

I hope they don't rebrand the team, but I have a feeling they will be. Either way I'll continue to refer to them as the Wizards.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

i think that would be a huge mistake by the organization.
i'm still pissed we've abandoned our unique "wizard's blue"
redo the badge but please keep our name.
i think the name is definitely a little childish but its OUR name and i would be mad if they changed it.

jtreg said...

I've heard a lot of people saying they just don't think "Wizards" is tough enough.

If that is the case then redo the badge with a Wizard that could be on a Slayer album. And in addition to the drums in the Cauldron have a couple guys on amps turned up to 11 playing wicked, mind melting, shred metal.

fuserkc said...

I'd be in support of a rebranding, but lets be intelligent about it. Obviously striking the Wizards for something new would be unintelligent. And As long as we stay some shade of blue, i'll be happy. But please god no red or green.
My idea is to take a page out of Man Who's book. They're the red devils right? Well who says that we can't still be the wizards with a more soccer appropriate name? I mean, I really like Just Kansas City (Manchester City, etc) people could just call us city for short, or wizards. Sporting KC would be ok too, but it sounds awkward to me. just preserve the wizards and whatever tradition we've built to date.
A certain kind of rebranding could be a great step in building some buzz around the team and putting our last couple disappointing seasons behind us. However, don't rebrand to the point that you're virtually starting starting over building a name for us in KC.

fuserkc said...

LA's rebranding was much along these same lines, they just gave the organization a facelift, without completely eliminating the galaxy theme. It did signal a new era for them, (& their new crest is a 100% improvement on their old one. gross green & yellow? the smart navy yellow blue really looks good and gives the team swagger.

Drew said...

I like the idea of the light blue and dark blue combo for a kit. It'd be much better than the blue and white and give the team something unique, something to stand out. However, I believe it'd be stupid to re-brand the team with a ridiculous name ala Sporting KC. That sounds like a Central and South America team name. I think it cheapens MLS when they think only hispanic-Americans watch soccer and they name teams in a similar fashion to those south of the border. If you're not keeping Wizards than it has to be something unique to KC. I'm not saying call them the KC BBQers, but you get the idea. The original name Wiz/Wizards was from the Wizard of Oz if I'm not mistaken. So, I think that's pretty unique. Also, if they did re-brand there is precendent in Europe and all over for that matter. I once lived in Seoul, Korea and had a season ticket to FC Seoul. Who had changed names 4 times and moves all over the city. Arsenal have changed their name, though nothing major from Woolwich Arsenal. I think the best idea is to just refer to the club as Kansas City. Keep the Wizards part but the crest (not logo) can have a KC lettering. The team represents KC, it should reflect that.

Anonymous said...

fuserkc, you can't have just Kansas City, you can't trademark the name of a city, you have to have something with it to trademark, like Wizards or Sporting or whatever.

fuserkc said...

@ Anonymous (2)
good point, but you could just add an arbitrary FC, or CD or AC and just have that be a part of the official name (ala Manchester City Football Club). But you hardly ever hear Man City referred to as MCFC unless it's on a banner or something.
(ACKC sounds absolutely ridiculous. DO NOT DO THAT)

Anonymous said...

I don't get why we would need go with that new color scheme of dark/navy blue and the light blue. There are already way too many teams in this league with the navy blue home or alternate kit colors as the main color: Union, Revs, NY, Chivas, LA, and soon Vancouver. Let's atleast try to stand out a little bit and go back to Kansas City's completely unique Wizard's blue which would give us instant recognition as KC and it would hark back to when the team was actually won something. We wore our wizard blue when we won the MLS Cup and US Open Cup

cjgwizard said...

I agree completely with you, Mike. If they rebrand, they will always be referred to as the Wizards by me.

Please FO, no name change or color change. Please DO change the logo.

Anonymous said...

You can't have Kansas City with the "City" tag, unless the tag is applied to the State of Kansas and the "City" is added. Being that Kansas City already includes "City" in its name, the correct application of "City" (as seen in Man City, Cardiff City, etc) would be Kansas City City. Obviously that doesn't make sense.

IHateRacistsLikeDrew said...

Drew, racist much?

"That sounds like a Central and South America team name. I think it cheapens MLS when they think only hispanic-Americans watch soccer and they name teams in a similar fashion to those south of the border."

Your quote sounds like something from a Klan member. I think it cheapens MLS when white trash Neo-Nazis support teams in a similar fashion to idiots in Europe.

As for the sporting nickname, it's used throughout the world. In fact, if you weren't a complete fear mongering douche, you'd realize that the Sporting moniker is little used in Central and South America.

MOUFWASH said...

name and badge are terrible, I favor changing both, though it will not effect my intrest or purchasing of ticket and I can understand reservation in changing our name.

I would purchase more gear if we had a decent badge

I would like to see us just drop the whole mascot thing in the name

Anonymous said...

You'd better start writing in and telling your front office that using RARE Design would be the kiss of death for them. If they use them you'll end up with a cartoon for a logo.

Anonymous said...

A name change is certainly in the plans (along the lines of Sporting KC, Kansas City FC, etc). If there are concerns about it, now might be a good time to start making noise.

Zach Dundas said...

Tricky business, rebranding. Even minor changes can go wrong, as our Timbers discovered when they unveiled a new, "improved" badge to howls of outrage this summer. In KC's case, I can see some compelling reasons to upgrade the brand, but I don't see how a pseudo-Euro name like Sporting KC does that.

Why not go for a fusion of football tradition and American nomenclature? Call the organization The Kansas City Sporting Club (sounds old-school, like a 19th-century baseball team), and use "Wizards" as the nickname? Fans could use "Wizards" and "Sporting" interchangeably.

jtreg said...

I really don't want a Slayer-esk badge (attempt at humor) or rebranding. But I also don't want to just tac a arbitrary, european-esk, FC, AC, CF, CD, to Kansas City. But if that's what is coming down the pipe, it needs to be "SC" for "Soccer Club". Because that is what we play here - soccer - for better or for worse. What fuserkc said is right; "facelift". Please don't take an axe to the face of what we've had these short but important years of existence.

fuserkc said...

@ anonymous 4
Well technically yes, you are correct, the city of manchester is not referred to as manchester city. If we applied the city tag in the same way as MCFC, we'd be Kansas City City. Which is lame.
But why do we have to apply it like that. We could always use some common sense (not always guaranteed) & not add the extra city, but still treat it like MCFC treats the city tag (nickname etc)

fuserkc said...

@ Zach Dundas
Kansas City Sporting Club has a nice ring.
The crest could have a little wizard-like figure in the middle of it. ala Man United & the red devil.

Kansas City
0
-|-
/\
Sporting Club

fuserkc said...

haha, initial attempt at an ascii draft of a new badge is fail. lamesauce

BlacknBlueKC said...

Keep the nickname Wizards, revert back to Wizards blue, rebrand the badge and supporting artwork.

No FC, No AC, No "sporting", maybe add AFC but that sounds like a throwball conference so I guess pick your poison. Or better yet, just stick with Kansas City Wizards (Harry, Oz, Waverly and all). We have the history, people recognize the name, and the team will be in Kansas after all. So forget the haters and stick with tradition. It US, it's KC, it's our identity.

fuserkc quote "The crest could have a little wizard-like figure in the middle of it. ala Man United & the red devil."

This is what I would like to see here. I actually drew something that is a hybrid of Chelsea, Reading, and attempting to stay original (circle, "dragon" image, checkered background, traditional font).

Ben said...

I detest fc and sporting. They are not grammatical and do not make sense in American English. For me, Wizards is fine, I don't see the point to change it.

Mark F said...

OK. I'm a new fan, a very new fan at that so I ask that my opinion not be heavily weighted.

My suggestions.

1. Don't go the Euro-wannabe route with FC, AC, etc. Why not Kansas City MLS, or Kansas City, MLSC (major league soccer club). We don't relegate and I doubt we see relegation in the next 40 years that the insurance tables say I might make it, so MLS tagging isn't going to cause a problem.

2. Despite the official name being KC MLS or MLSC hold on to the Wizards name. Ideally when a team press release goes out it would be in this format: Kansas City MLSC announces the signing of Fernando Torres, he will join the Wizards in two weeks.

3. A new crest that somehow incorporates a Wizard or wizard theme.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see them go back to Wizards blue to separate from the Royals. I'd also love to see a better logo, more in the "shield" vein like LA, Seattle, Chicago, DC, etc. Just having the word "Wizards" in a shield-shape sucks. I'm ambivalent on any name change. Finally, please get rid of the city name on the jersey and get a proper shirt sponsor. I have a hard time believing that the Cerners, Sprints, Garmins, or whatever wouldn't love some added visibility and that the Wizards couldn't use the money.

Anonymous said...

Kansas City on the shirt is great, just needs a new font. Kings, Chiefs, Royals, Wizards...We either keep the name, join the royal convention, or find something unique to the city. I would like to see a tribute to the Native Americans, one they could appreciate. Cliff Illig would be down. Kansas City, nickname 'The Nation" or a nod to the Pawnee or the Kaw...if they would let us- could even work up a partnership- maybe a Native American youth program? How awesome would it be to see a Native Kansan play for the club one day?

Anonymous said...

No way a team ever goes with a Native American name any more.

Roses4ADeadMan said...

I am not opposed to keeping the name we have and just upgrading our logo, but I have to admit I would rather see it changed. I understand the Cauldron is hesitant to let go of the Wizards brand, but a majority of the Kansas City fans are not members of the Cauldron. A good number of the 52,000 + fans at the KC vs. MU game were also not members of the Cauldron. A large number of soccer fans in Kansas City won’t even go to a Wizards game (understandably) just because of the brand.

I think a good number of people (soccer fans or not) have trouble identifying with fantasy characters. Not everyone gets excited about World of War Craft, or other role playing games that involve fictional beings. I think people today are more willing to support a brand that represents who they are and what they are about. Elves, Wizards, and Unicorns aren’t an ideal image for people who do not associate success with fantasy.

If Ongoal and Robb Heineman want to rebrand in hopes of reaching out to tens of thousands of new fans, then I’m in full support, especially if it’s only at the expense of a few individuals who might be more concerned with their own personal image over that of Kansas City Soccer fans as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Roses, except for the fact it's running away on the poll on the Star's website.

the people that aren't coming because of the name are the same people didn't attend MLS games because of tons of other reasons over the years including the count up clock, shootout, etc. You change the name, guess what they'll find another reason to ignore the league.

Anonymous said...

To anyone who has the thought that "Wizards" isn't tough, I think Mo Johnston might like to have some words.

szazzy said...

Running away with the poll is 52% in favor of keeping it, 48% in favor of changing it to something else? After 15 years, if there weren't major problems with the brand, I'd think that number would be a lot higher.

Anonymous said...

Or if there weren't a ton of Eurocentric fans who think you're not a legitimate team unless your team is just called SC, FC, AC, etc.

Mark F said...

The crowd at Arrowhead included people from four countries and 43 states. Many won't be back for the simple reason that they aren't going to come from where ever (I saw the Dallas MUFC banner) to watch the Kansas City MLS team no matter what it is called. I'm 7 hours away, it will be a once or twice a year event for me. Any "they won't be back" argument that does not acknowledge the geographic limit on much of the crowd is a bad argument.

The Wizards have announced selling committments for 1100 NEW season tickets for 2011 in the wake of last Sunday. Branding doesn't seem to be a major problem.

bstoeff said...

SCKC sporting club kansas city is real dope and i dont care who bitches about it, it brings more of professional background than just the city and mascot, no doubt keep the wizards as an under name though, Chelsea FC Blues, Liverpool FC Reds, SC Kansas City Wizards its not that big of a change, just a little classier approch

Anonymous said...

So bstoeff is New York Yankees, KC Royals, KC Chiefs, Chicago Cubs, etc, etc, etc not classy, or are you just one of those people that's a Eurosnob and think every team has to be some drab and boring for a name so that we fit in with our "cool" European friends.

We're in the US, in the US we do City Name Nickname. Keep Wizards

M. said...

Go with the blue on blue uniform color scheme. Name the team Kansas City Soccer Club officially. Then let the fans organically decide on the "nickname" - more than one is ok. So the team might be colloquially known as the Wizards, the Blues, or some new organic option.

I personally love the way KC Blues sounds.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for keeping the name wizards, but please give us something unique in a badge and logo. Something that isn't everywhere else. Green & Black or Green and Orange. Blue & Yellow (like Club America), Anything, but more blue. It feels like a minor league attempt to be relavent by having the same colors as the Royals. We are Kansas City, we are barely on the map, give us something truly unique.

If we go with Wizards, put a little basic version of one on the logo like the Manchester Logo. Classic looking not an over attempt to make it tough, that never really works. But please change the colors and badge so I can see a sea of anything unique and know it is a mass of Kansas City Soccer fans.

Anonymous said...

Bring back the Kansas City SPURS! With all this talk of the Cosmos potentially coming back, it'd be a nice way of acknowledging Kansas City's soccer roots. Plus it's a much more inspiring name than Wizards. To me it has more cultural/historical value as it recognizes the cowboy heritage of the midwest, rather than identifying with some fictional place/characters created by a writer who wasn't even from Kansas, just sayin. At any rate, it's a much better basis for re-brand than blindly following the European model.