1. Chris Gibbons says:

    There was some research years ago about soda drinkers, how a small but passionate group of them consumed something like 50x as much as the average person. Thus, beverage companies tailored their products to the super users knowing that the casual drinker wouldn’t notice much of a difference in product but the super users would (and would drive revenue either way).

    Supporter’s Groups and readers of websites like this one are super users. To replace this small but passionate group with twice as many casual fans is to lose substantially more than you’ve gained, even if more people are involved. The new “global” fan might buy a jersey or two over the next few years, but he or she isn’t painting tifos, organizing road trips, or telling friends to come to matches. When that fan is gone, he or she is hard to get back.

    • SilverRey says:

      This nuance was absolutely lost on the new owners.
      When they are saying things like “maybe it’s ok to lose 8k fans if it gets us 15k fans”, it’s clear they don’t realize the value of their existing fans – especially when it comes to that particular base.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      this is gold. Bitcoin maybe. something good though.

  2. Great article, Thomas, thanks for bringing this to our attention. Amidst a raft of questions, one that i just don’t see any answer for is what about this is even supposed to attract more fans? Including “soccer” so Joe on the street knows it’s a soccer team? in addition to being tone deaf and ugly af, there doesn’t seem to be a scintilla of even flawed reasoning.

    No knock on youth soccer, I was involved for 9 years and loved it, but this looks like a name and badge befitting a local youth travel team.

  3. I actually like the new badge. But I don’t like dropping “Crew” from the name. The trend in MLS is to name all teams simply with “FC” or “SC”. It’s boring AF. A few SCs and FCs are ok, but most of the league?
    Why is this the trend? Maybe they think this is more Euro-like? I’d say that’s kind of weak if that’s the case, we don’t see any London FCs, SC Amsterdams, or FC Madrids.

    I feel bad for the Crew fans. If the Union did this, I would be sooo upset.

  4. A few years ago, the new owner of Leeds United released a new badge in preparation for the club’s 100th anniversary in 2019. They claimed wide fan input, but it was way off the mark and widely panned as soon as it was leaked. A few days later, they admitted their mistake, scrapped the new badge, and just added a gold version of the existing badge with a banner below indicating the dates. No harm, no foul, and they pretty quickly regained goodwill of the supporters by simply listening to their voices (also in appointing the best manager in England and building a perfect side to obtain promotion back to the EPL after 16 years away).

    I’m so thankful to support the Union, who perfected the brand since Day 1.

  5. Scott of Nazareth says:

    I can’t say that I’m an MLS lifer, but at least a casual observer over the past decade. In some ways, with some teams, I get the want/need to change/rebrand to reestablish an identity that quickly conjures up “soccer team” in a country/continent that is still getting to know the sport.

    That said, “Columbus Crew” or Columbus Crew SC” in that market IS soccer. I’m pretty sure they pre-date the NHL Blue Jackets don’t they? They’ve won 2 championships with that name, so its not like they should be rebooting things.

    I know early MLS was a very different time and place and was very “American-ized” to attract initial casual fans. Teams like Crew, Sounders, Timbers, Rapids, Galaxy have been around and should instantly be identified as “soccer” in their respective markets.

    FWIW – I’ve always felt that “Union” was a perfect bridge between the traditional Euro name and North American sports.

  6. el Pachyderm says:

    the Information Age continues to swing like a wrecking ball through thousands of years of custom, culture and intimacy.
    It is at once thrilling, daunting and terrifying.

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