This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.
As one of the original ten teams in the inaugural season of the U.S.’s Major League Soccer in 1996, the Kansas City Wizards is one of the most established teams in the league, winning the MLS Cup in 2000. Originally named Kansas City Wiz (no ards and featuring a super retro logo at the time) the team changed its name in 1997 and last week it announced that it wasn’t messing with iterations of the word wizard anymore and instead it was changing to Sporting Kansas City. This coincides with the move to a snazzy new stadium in 2011, bringing to an apex the changes ushered by new ownership that began in 2006.
The new logo comes with a mini online guide that explains all the different elements of the new crest. For example: the “SC” ligature stands for Sporting Club and “[Was] designed to reflect a variety of historical influences within an innovative, contemporary design.” What kind of historical influences you might ask? “The rod of the Greek god Asclepius (health and fitness), the Hellenistic statue of Winged Victory (strength and movement) and the Spanish architecture of Kansas City’s renowned Country Club Plaza.” The bold lines form “a shape familiar to all Kansas Citians — the state line between Missouri and Kansas.” Not only that but if you count the blue lines and the blank lines, they add up to 11. As in the 11 players that make up a soccer team. Etcetera.
Rationalizations aside, the new logo is a poor interpretation of the familiar crest approach that European Football Clubs — not Sporting Clubs — use. The elements are too disconnected in style and weight to form a cohesive whole. What bothers me the most is the bounding shape that creates a balloon shape more than a crest giving everything an overly cartoonish look. The best part of the identity is the secondary wordmark, not because it’s conceptually great but because it’s at least competently executed and fits perfectly within the angular typography of sports teams. It also reflects the way the name of the team should be said, “Sporting Kansas City” whereas the crest reads as “Kansas City Sporting.”
Finally, well, initially, there is also the name. I don’t mind the loss of the wizards moniker but I question the ease of use in fan parlance of the new name. Before, you could just say “I’m going to the Wizards game” and people would get it. Now, “I’m going to the Sporting game” might eventually make sense but it sounds like Hulk speaking. “Argh. Sporting game. Fun.” But I bet if they won another MLS Cup all would be forgiven.