Tonight at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, the owners of the new U. S. soccer team, the Spurs Sports & Entertainment group, are set to make a big announcement. But before they do, let’s discuss what’s in a name when it comes to sports teams.
Naming a soccer team is a bit of a different beast than naming other sports teams, Ray Mallouk, co-founder of Breakaway Sports Marketing in Dallas, says.
“The success of some of these teams is based on how they’re able to link themselves to those traditional La Liga and English Premier League [teams] over in Europe,” he says. “One of the ways they do that is really by, essentially, copying their names.”
Mallouk says Toronto FC and FC Dallas (FC meaning football club) have followed the formula of naming the team after its city. Mallouk, who’s originally from Kansas City, says his city’s team the Wizards was renamed Sporting Kansas City.
“I’m in Dallas now. It used to be the Dallas Burn,” he says, “and they abandoned that. Now it’s FC Dallas.”
Though there is value in naming a team after something the city is known for – the Rockets, say, after Houston’s space city – but the more obvious name after the city might be more valuable.
“That’s a lot of pride for people in San Antonio,” he says. “You can have it both ways, like Manchester United. They’re in Manchester but they’re really known as the Red Devils.”
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.