The Wizards are dead, long live the Wizards!
If that sounds a bit confusing, trust me, you ain’t heard nothing yet. That’s because the MLS team formerly known as the Kansas City Wizards have adopted a new branding – if you will – and are herewith to be known (as rumored) as Sporting Kansas City.
And the initials SC in the Sporting Kansas City shield logo – standing for Sporting Club – is the new name of the parent organization that owns the soccer team. Formerly known as OnGoal, LLC, the group intends to harness its new nomenclature to sponsor additional sports teams, starting with a professional rugby franchise, SC honcho Robb Heineman says. Future additional franchises could range from womens soccer to LaCross.
With all due respect, Sporting Kansas City’s principals have little concern for mourning Wizards fans Heineman says. A winning soccer team in a kickass new stadium will be more than enough to chase away the name change blues, he adds.
Here’s where it gets a little dicey.
Asked if Sporting Kansas City will continue to use the Wizards name as well, like Manchester United also employs the Red Devils for its identity, "We will not," says longtime Wizards marketing point man Rob Thomson. "We will not use it officially at all."
However Sporting Kansas City fans are welcome to continue to refer to the team as Wizrads, Thomson says.
Which brings us to the question of the new stadium naming rights…
"Nothing now, we’re still working on it," Heineman says.
Heineman expects the Wizards – remember, it’s still OK to call them that if we please – to play their first eight to 10 games on the road next year while awaiting completion of the new stadium for the first home game. Meaning no more gawdawful soccer in the disjointed T-Bones baseball park and no three-quarters empty, phoney-crowd-count games at Arrowhead.
Season tickets, anyone?