I’m a sucker for ‘Name that Team’ contests. Whenever a new minor league sports team comes to town and has a contest for their nickname, I’m in.
Kansas City got two new hockey teams in the past 5 years. The first time around, I entered the ‘Kansas City Stampede’ which eventually lost to the ‘Outlaws’ which are currently lost to time. This past fall, I entered ‘The Independence A-Bombs’ because they wanted a name associated with Harry Truman and he’s the guy who dropped the bomb. They went with ‘Missouri Mavericks’ because they said it tested well (this was just a few months removed from the election and everybody had Maverick fever). Their colors are light blue and orange and the mascot is a horse.
That has Truman written all over it… if the horse played poker with its buddies and drank whiskey in the afternoon. Give ‘em hell, horsie.
Anyway, the beat goes on. Houston got a new soccer team and had a contest to pick a name. I got all fired up until they announced that it wasn't a contest but a vote. The funny part here is that the logo I sketched out for my selection (which wasn't one of the three names to pick from) looks like a really rough draft for what they ended up with.
- My rough draft, before I lost interest
- And where they ended up. Can you say 'Right Path'?
Kansas City got a baseball team and named them the T-Bones, which I have to admit I kind of like. Logo stinks, but the team’s named after meat. That’s kind of funny.
The purpose of ‘Name the Team’ contests is to sell season tickets. Every one of my contest entries has been followed up with a phone call or an e-mail extolling the virtue of signing on early. Get the best seats! The best prices! At least once, I responded by telling them to pick my entry, those are the season tickets I want.
Plus they usually come with a hat.
Skip ahead a couple years. Kansas City gets an Arena League Football team. It was a quickie deal, done in the wake of Katrina, that brought the New Orleans Voodoo to town. They had a wham-bam contest and named the team ‘The Brigade’. M’eh. The colors were light blue, silver and black. Think Jacksonville Jaguars. Their logo was a B-2 Bomber. I kind of liked the B-2, but not so much the name. It didn’t go with the logo. You see, there aren’t many brigades in the Air Force. At last count, there were none.
Time went on, the season played out, the team stunk, the economy tanked, the AFL idled itself for a season, and the Brigade went away. Oh, and Kansas City built an arena for hockey and/or basketball that’s dying for a tenant.
Re-enter the AFL.
So, for the past couple weeks, the new team has held a contest to ‘Name that Team’. Yes!! Another shot at glory. My co-workers and I bounced ideas off each other and here’s our winner:
Yeah, say hello to the new AFL, baby. The Kansas City Krunch!
Except that we won’t be winning. You see, right after we submitted our name, there was an interview with the new coach and GM. They bragged on the contest and how they really hoped they’d be able to use the old colors. Well, that’s no big deal. We did the logo in the team colors and it looks pretty good.
Then, in another interview, the team said they’d really like to keep the old logo, too (the old B-2). Now this all makes sense, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The logo’s already trademarked, the uniforms are made, you have a lot of cost freedom with this decision. The only problem, from where I sit, is that using the old logo locks you into a very specific subset of team names; names that have to do with planes, flight, dropping bombs, or the B-2 itself. And when you look at it that way, with a two week window from the close of the contest to the announcement of the winner…the name was already picked out before the contest hit the street.
So let’s get back to that subset of names: planes, flight, dropping bombs, or the B-2. I believe that leaves you with three realistic choices for a name, and here they are:
The Bombers (or a variation thereof). Won’t be picked because it sounds like roller derby.
The Spirit. I give this one a good chance because all the B-2’s are named the ‘Spirit of…’
The Stealth. I think this is the one they’ll ultimately go with. It sounds kind of sexy, it works with the existing logo, and you can make it look really cool with the right font.
They announce the winner Friday night. Let’s see how close to right I am.