Abracadabra, it’s Sporting KC
On Goal, the owners of the Kansas City Wizards, announced Wednesday that the team would be rebranding as “Sporting Kansas City” for the 2011 campaign and beyond.
I lived in Kansas City and graduated from high school there. I was standing in a mostly empty Arrowhead Stadium in 1996 shouting “Let’s go Wiz!” My opinion may be permanently skewed by these acts.
And I understand that the Kansas City Wizards referenced “The Wizard of Oz,” which took place in rural Kansas, not a metropolis.
Still, I liked the Wizards name. It was an unusual brand name in the soccer world, and that made it special. It wasn’t a United, a Football Club, or some other appellation snared from Europe (see also, Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Rangers, Celtic, or dozens of other out-of-place naming choices for teams). It was Kansas City, and it was the Wizards.
Now, rather than working on wizardry, KC has taken a back seat to the “Sporting” life. What a triumph for those lacking vision and grasping for straws. Kansas City finally gets a proper stadium to call home for 2011, and it brings this garbage name choice forward.
The owners call it rebranding, but it’s just a desperate grab for credibility by taking a brand successful in Europe and transplanting it. Kansas City has its own virtues and it doesn’t need to look to the Iberian peninsula for inspiration. Doing so is the equivalent of an own goal by On Goal.
Sporting Kansas City is a put down for anyone who loves the game and ever loved Kansas City.