Arsenal Colorado FC
|Whether or not this is a reality, it's brought up some interesting discussions (read: flame wars) about the team names in MLS. Does it ruin tradition if you change a team's identity? There's also the ongoing debate about traditional "soccer names" versus "American nicknames." I've been posting about it on Bigsoccer for days, and I'd like to share a few insights.|
The logo's changing no matter what. So why should the Rapids change the team name as well? Here's why: They have very little history to be proud of. They have consistently been one of the league's most average, poorly supported, and least interesting teams. In other words, they can afford to rebrand. The Galaxy, on the other hand, have been successful and despite the ridiculousness of the name it's not gonna be changed. The Wizards really should get a rebranding as well. They're the only MLS team left who I feel really needs one. The Galaxy are too successful, Fire fits perfectly, Revolution is ok, and the Crew are pretty prominent and well known in their town.
I don't buy the history and tradition argument with the Rapids. Eleven years is not a long time. They're still a young team, and with the new stadium and the attention that comes from that it's now or never. So this is when you start doing things right. Rapids is ok, but it's not much of a name. MLS isn't mainstream yet, so they can easily change it if they want to.
Also, time also does not make crappy logos/names good. If MLS would've listened to fans in 1995 then there wouldn't be any history involving dumb nicknames that some people here are now concerned about losing.
But what about Arsenal? Is that a good name? There are reasons why that works, other than just copying the English team. Their new stadium is built on a former arsenal. There are also plenty of Arsenal teams all over the world. But I like it just because it sounds better than Rapids. And as a hardcore soccer fan, I prefer soccer sounding names over the American nicknames. Why? Because they are chosen with soccer fans in mind. Clash, Mutiny, Crew, Burn, those names were chosen to sound hip in a decade that brought us the Grizzlies and . Now they sound ridiculous. As I've mentioned countless times before, you have to get the people who actually like soccer to follow your league before you worry about the non-fans.
At this point, if somehow they stick with Rapids, I'll be upset. At least Arsenal is interesting and creates passion on both sides. Rapids is boring.
Bonus Stats: American Logos
On another note, the Wizards also have changed their logo for this season. Technically, anyway. I didn't even notice that until a few days ago. They are using the secondary logo which just says the team's name in black and blue, and are relegating the primary one to secondary status. As mentioned by KC fans, the new owners probably are going to make a new one but didn't have time to do all the work that goes into it. But one thing's for certain, the rainbow needed to go. They haven't worn it on their jerseys for five years, and even then it was barely on there. Expect a new logo (and hopefully a new identity) when they move into their new stadium.
The logos are less important than the identity, but it would be fun to take a look at them regardless. Teams in pro sports change their logos more often than you'd think. Just check out sportslogos.net to see histories. Only 4 MLS teams have had the same basic design since the 1996 season (CLB, DC, LA, NE). There have been 8 new logos in the past three seasons, which means that MLS is serious about getting things right and getting ready for the big time (hopefully). The Galaxy are going to change for 2007 also, supposedly. Anyway, the point is that the other leagues change logos just as often:
New logos from 1996 to now
MLB-9/28 + 2 expansion
NBA-14/29 + 1 expansion
NFL-8/30 + 2 expansion
NHL-8/26 + 4 expansion
Minus Expansion-39/113 (35%)
So 1 out of 3 logos have been changed since MLS came into existence. And I'm being pretty lenient on changing, not counting minor changes. The second number (35%) is better because the first includes expansion logos and they're always new (duh). Let's look further.
New logos from 1982 to now
MLB-17/26 + 4 expansion
NBA-17/23 + 7 expansion
NFL-10/28 + 4 expansion
NHL-11/21 + 9 expansion
Minus Expansion-55/98 (56%)
Less than half of the primary logos used today have been used for the last 25 years (or about my lifetime). The NFL is the only league which hasn't changed half their logos. So much for history and tradition.
Which 43 teams have been using the same basic logo for the past 25 years?
(according to sportslogos.net)
MLB-BOS, CHC, CIN, CLE, KC, LAD, NYM, NYY, OAK
NBA-BOS, CHI, IND, LAL, NY, POR
NFL-ARI, ATL, BUF, CHI, CLE, DAL, DET, GB, IND, KC, MIA, MIN, NO, OAK, PIT, SF, SEA, WAS
NHL-BOS, CAL, CHI, DET, EDM, MON, NYR, PHI, STL, TOR