I'm a little late to this party*, but apparently Wizards president Robb Heineman discussed the notion of rebranding the team in conjunction with the new stadium in a radio interview this week. Is that a good idea?
The Kansas City Star
*My schedule (and my sensibilities) don't allow me to listen to Between the Lines on 810 Sports, so I missed this. But the always helpful Jake Gutierrez, co-host of the Kansas City Soccer Show on 810, has linked it up on their podcast site now.
Now, this shouldn't be a surprise move at all. The Wizards signed up with Kansas City-based marketing firm Barkley earlier this year.
Most of the focus to date has been on the name (I'm not keen on the Wizards, but I don't really care enough to wish it would change or anything) and whether or not the team will "Euro-fy" it by adding "FC" or "Sporting" or "Real" or something else. Personally, I'm all for something that has historical meaning and is cool sounding. Which is why I prefer something along the lines of Kansas City '96 (KC96 would look cool as well) or 1996 Kansas City. Gives you the date of inception for the club without adding a dumb moniker.
But this rebranding might go further than a name change. It might involve color changes (maybe more in line with the light blue on the season-ticket holder scarves), a new logo or something as basic as a new commercial campaign.
Mike at Down the Byline had a good take on this whole topic this morning:
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.
But I'm interested: What are your thoughts on the idea of rebranding? What names do you like? What names do you hate? Do you think the team even needs to rebrand? Feel free to unleash your thoughts in the comments.