A BEHIND THE SCENES ORAL HISTORY OF SOCCER IN KANSAS CITY
On November 18, 2010, a Major League Soccer team changed its name. One minute they were the Kansas City Wizards. The next, they were Sporting KC. Of course it’s never that simple.
This is that story.
Chief Operating Officer, Sporting Kansas City
I hate the word ‘brand’ more than anything. It’s overused; it’s not understood. People are misquoted all the time when they talk about brand. Really, we use the word ‘ethos’ around the office. So it’s what our company is all about. It’s what our soccer team is all about. It’s capturing the passion of our game. It’s not just we can sell 20 percent more jerseys if we use this color or this shield. It has nothing to do with that. All of that is secondary. It’s kind of like falling in love. If you find the right match, all the other benefits are secondary. I think that is how we approached this. We needed to fall in love with a brand that reflected the ethos of the company. So when we say ‘brand,’ we don’t mean just the logo or all that. We mean it in a bigger way. We mean brand to encapsulate everything that we do, the way that we are viewed from the outside; the way that we are viewed from the inside. It’s bigger. It’s reflective of the love we feel for this club; the passion that our fans feel for the club. When a player grabs that shield on his chest and kisses it after a goal, that needs to mean something. And I think when we went through this process, we always had that in the back of our minds: what should a player, what should one of our athletes really be meaning when they grab that shield and they kiss it, and it goes back over their heart? I try not to think of that word, brand, and I hate to say it, but you have to use it. But you have to make sure you use it wisely. Love without wisdom is fleeting, and Sporting wants to be around for a long time. We’re the smallest market, or one of them, and we’re just trying to change the way people think about MLS. Click HERE for the full story…