charger77

Random Branding Question

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Odd question, but is there anything preventing teams in the same city from sharing the same name and identity if all owners agreed?

 

For example... all 4 Denver based teams agreed to change their name to the Colorado Avalanche, and use maroon, blue and white as their colors & use the Avalanche A logo?

 

Or

 

Look at Detroit as an example where the baseball & hockey teams have the same owners. If the Illitch family wanted could they change the Red Wings to the Tigers, slap an Old English D on the jersey and make them navy & white?

 

What if for example if the city of Philadelphia's government bought all four teams or the State of Minnesota's government bought all four teams and wanted brand/identity consistency?

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I don't think anything is stopping them, but $$$ is a factor

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Generally, each team is a separate brand. In Europe, one athletic club might branch out into different sports, like Barca and Real. For US leagues, there are rules against that. The NFL specifically has rules against owners having teams in NBA or MLB. They also ban cities or states from owning the team. The Packers are the only team that isn't directly controlled by a single entity.

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yeah. the nfl is super strict about their ownership. they want a single figurehead.

 

they've been on the titans case hard ever since bud adams died, because they wanted a single figurehead. for a minute there, they were sorta run by the whole family, and the nfl pressed them into selling because of it.

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2 hours ago, charger77 said:

Look at Detroit as an example where the baseball & hockey teams have the same owners. If the Illitch family wanted could they change the Red Wings to the Tigers, slap an Old English D on the jersey and make them navy & white?

 

 

I'm pretty sure the NHL has veto power over its team names (we know MLB does).  There's no way that the league would let them move away from an historic name.


Now, the question is: what if a city was granted expansion franchise all at once, or even over a period of time, to the same owner?  Would the leagues let that owner brand all her clubs with a single name?  I think that might be a hard sell, since they would obviously prefer unique brands for marketing their sport.  But I'm not sure there's anything specifically prohibiting the practice.

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There is some historical precedence with New York and the Giants...but I don't know what relationship (if any) there was between the two organizations other than their shared market and name. 

 

My guess is that such an occurrence is a historical anomaly that we are unlikely to see again.

 

What's more, the changing nature of professional sports likely means that we will see very few (if any) names being shared by two different organizations in North American sports. There is too much money at stake with sports branding for there to be many more Winnipeg Jets / New York Jets or Florida Panthers / Carolina Panthers.

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I think it would be cool if Saskatchewan got an expansion NHL, MLB and NBA team and they were all green and white and were the Roughriders... or any city for that matter. it would would be pretty cool/interesting to see. Wouldn't want all cities to do it, just one in the U.S. and maybe one in Canada too. 

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I do like the concept of cities having a certain color or colors that kinda brands the city, IE the Knicks & Mets in NYC and the Pittsburgh sports teams and the Washington sports minus the football team. 

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39 minutes ago, Thaumatrope said:

There is some historical precedence with New York and the Giants...but I don't know what relationship (if any) there was between the two organizations other than their shared market and name. 

 

My guess is that such an occurrence is a historical anomaly that we are unlikely to see again.

 

What's more, the changing nature of professional sports likely means that we will see very few (if any) names being shared by two different organizations in North American sports. There is too much money at stake with sports branding for there to be many more Winnipeg Jets / New York Jets or Florida Panthers / Carolina Panthers.

 

There wasn't a relationship, beyond the football Giants renting the ballpark from the baseball club and wanting to similarly borrow some of its prestige.

 

But yeah, it's not going to happen because too much has changed.  Names have value for their merchandising now that was unheard of when football teams were trying to sound more stable and important by borrowing Major League names.  Nowadays teams trademark their name for any number of applications, almost all of which overlap with the applications desired by teams in every other sport.

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6 hours ago, Gothamite said:

 

 

I'm pretty sure the NHL has veto power over its team names (we know MLB does).  There's no way that the league would let them move away from an historic name.


Now, the question is: what if a city was granted expansion franchise all at once, or even over a period of time, to the same owner?  Would the leagues let that owner brand all her clubs with a single name?  I think that might be a hard sell, since they would obviously prefer unique brands for marketing their sport.  But I'm not sure there's anything specifically prohibiting the practice.

 

I think the closest thing that will someday be feasible in American pro sports is if she wanted to name the teams after the company she owned rather than a city name, then had separate sport-specific nicknames for each team. 

 

Kind of like the Yomiuri (Tokyo) Giants or Samsung (Daegu) Lions of the KBO. 

 

You could have the Spanx Slappers (hockey), Spanx Jammers (basketball), Spanx Plus Sizers (football), Spanx Crushers (baseball), Spanx Pitchmasters (MLS). 

 

 

 

 

 

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philadelphia would lose their minds if any of their teams changed up their colors. They are probably the most colorful city in terms of sports teams. (I may be wrong). But how would you change a team that is based on history and colors? The 76ers are based on the year 1776, they have ben franklin as a logo... they need to be red, white, and blue. But a team like the nationals needs to be red white and blue as well. Its a good idea, but can't be practical in any way.

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Obviously, cities that have been in the big leagues for a long time are outrageously far-fetched...the Red Wings changing to the Tigers?  Of course, it's pretty far-fetched for other cities, too.  

 

Maybe a two-team city?   The football Cardinals moved to a city that already had a Baseball Cardinals, but I believe they shared the city with the Hawks and/or Blues the entire time.  Had the Blues not come to fruition, they'd have had a two-team version.  Even then, though, the colors and branding were not identical.

 

Let's use my town.  If every team changed to (which one?  Not Wild. Vikings I guess) Vikings, I'd be 1) annoyed by having to specify in conversation "I'm going to the hockey Vikings game on Saturday" and 2) I would not like all of my pro teams having the same branding/colors.  I am glad my four teams have four distinct looks.


I guess I'd be curious to hear from Pittsburgh fans how they feel about that regarding the colors (and whether they'd want all three to be called the Steelers or Pirates).  Or if any of the older members are from St. Louis...was having two teams with the same name annoying.

 

I guess you could draw a parallel to college sports. I cheer for Wisconsin Badgers football, hockey, and basketball.  Particularly with the manufacture contracts, number fonts and branding tend to be the same for some schools (that increased quite a bit at Wisconsin with the change to UA).

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6 hours ago, MJWalker45 said:

The NFL specifically has rules against owners having teams in NBA or MLB.

 

Not true (anymore) -- see Paul Allen (Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers), Tom Benson ( New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans), and back in the day, Wayne Huizenga (Miami Dolphins and Florida Marlins).  Specifically, NFL owners ARE allowed to own other teams in neutral (non-NFL) markets or in their home city market (which is the scenario in question)

 

A short history of NFL cross-ownership rules is below; excerpted from an article on the New York Law School website "The Official Review"

 

Reactive, not proactive, describes the NFL’s approach to its members’ interest  in owning teams in other leagues.  In the 1950s, as other professional football leagues tried to gain a foothold, the NFL Commissioner first announced a policy against a team owner maintaining a controlling interest in a team of a competing league.

 

Various League resolutions more formally banning cross-ownership were adopted in the late 1960s and 1970s.  This development came in part as a response to the emergence of the North American Soccer League, whose main cheerleader was Lamar Hunt, owner of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs.  Finally, in 1978, the NFL amended its Constitution and Bylaws to expressly prohibit a majority owner, or one of the owner’s close relatives, from having a controlling or substantial interest in another major team sport, defined to include baseball, basketball, hockey, and soccer.  In the ugly antitrust battle that ensued between the NASL and the NFL, a federal appellate court struck down the NFL’s cross-ownership ban on the grounds that it adversely affected competition in the capital market for the purchase of sports franchises (see NASL v. NFL).

 

In the aftermath of the 1980s antitrust litigation, the League operated as if the cross-ownership ban was still in effect, but authorized occasional exceptions (e.g., permitting Wayne Huizenga to own both the Miami Dolphins and Florida Marlins, and permitting Paul Allen to own both the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers).  The League codified this approach in an amendment to its Constitution and Bylaws that allows cross-ownership in another major league sports team in two narrow circumstances: (1) if the two franchises are in the same city, or (2) if the other league’s franchise is in a neutral market, defined as one that doesn’t currently host an NFL team and is not deemed a potential NFL city.  Enforcement of the rule has been flexible, giving new controlling owners of NFL teams time to divest conflicting interests, and to do so in creative ways — for instance St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke was allowed to satisfy the rule by transferring ownership interest in his Denver clubs (the NBA Nuggets and the NHL Avalanche) to his son Josh Kroenke.  Push has never really come to shove, however, and it is unclear how the NFL would have applied its current cross-ownership ban if Kroenke had been the winning bidder for the L.A. Dodgers back in 2012 (the League considers the L.A. market to be a potential team location although there’s no NFL team there now).

 

^_^

 

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3 hours ago, flyersfan said:

philadelphia would lose their minds if any of their teams changed up their colors. They are probably the most colorful city in terms of sports teams. (I may be wrong). But how would you change a team that is based on history and colors? The 76ers are based on the year 1776, they have ben franklin as a logo... they need to be red, white, and blue. But a team like the nationals needs to be red white and blue as well. Its a good idea, but can't be practical in any way.

I always thought Boston would be horrible to standardize too. How can the Bruins or Celtics change from Black/yellow or green/white? Or Pats/Sox change from RWB?

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I don't know, maybe something called copyright infringement? :lol:

 

But in all seriousness, it's just brand awareness. It would honestly suck if Orlando somehow got teams in all 4 big leagues (well, not that part :P) and all of them were named the Orlando Magic, Orlando Astros (boom came up with that on the spot. TAKE THAT RANDOM NAME GENERATORS), Orlando, well, anything really. Just imagine this conversation:

"What are your favorite teams?" "All of the Orlando ones - I have Magic season tickets" "Which Magic?" "Basketball and baseball - I had football, but they became too expensive when we finally got good"

What a nightmare to keep track of your teams.

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The Yankees' owners had a team in the AAFC called the New York Yankees.

 

There was also a team in the NFL called the New York Yankees, and there were teams in the NFL and the AAFC called the Brooklyn Dodgers; though I don't think that these teams had a common ownership to the namesake baseball teams (just as there was no common ownership between baseball's and football's New York Giants). I doubt that that could happen today in high-profile sports, though last year saw the debut of the New York Empire of World Team Tennis despite the existence of the New York Empire of the American Ultimate Disc League.

 

But if one owner decided to unify the names of teams in multiple sports under one moniker, that owner certainly could do that.  This would resemble European sports clubs in which Barcelona or Bayern Munich will have teams in football, futsal, beach football, basketball, handball, and whatever else.

 

---

 

Edited to add this additional thought: the other constraint on an owner naming all his/her teams by the same name is the ugly phenomenon of single-entity ownership, the principle by which MLS is run.  MLS team "owners" are not really owners but investor-operators who buy a share in MLS (the "investor" part) and also the right to run a team in a given city (the "operator" part).  The investor-operator does not own the team's name or marks, or even the players' contracts; all of those are owned by the league.  (The unwillingness to surrender ownership of the team name and logos was the reason that the previous ownership of the Cosmos decided against joining MLS when the league would have had them.)  The current Arena Football League is organised similarly (even though the original real Arena Football League which folded after the 2008 season had true independently-owned teams).

 

So an owner who wanted to name all his/her teams as "the Wilmington Wildcats" (let's just say) would have no chance of doing this if one of the teams were in MLS or the AFL.

 

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delete

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It's the very reason the NFL sued the Baltimore CFL Colts. People would omit the CFL part when saying they were going to watch the Colts play. That led to the team calling themselves the Baltimore CFL Club and then the Stallions. 

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17 hours ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

MLS team "owners" are not really owners but investor-operators who buy a share in MLS (the "investor" part) and also the right to run a team in a given city (the "operator" part).  The investor-operator does not own the team's name or marks, or even the players' contracts; all of those are owned by the league.

 

The trademark for Red Bull New York was registered by Red Bull GmbH of Austria. In fact, as of 4/12/2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office still lists Red Bull GmbH as the owner of the mark, including for the purposes of "Entertainment services, namely, organizing, conducting and staging professional soccer games and exhibitions; production of television and radio programs in the nature of professional soccer games and exhibitions", amongst other pursuits.

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11 hours ago, Brian in Boston said:

The trademark for Red Bull New York was registered by Red Bull GmbH of Austria. In fact, as of 4/12/2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office still lists Red Bull GmbH as the owner of the mark, including for the purposes of "Entertainment services, namely, organizing, conducting and staging professional soccer games and exhibitions; production of television and radio programs in the nature of professional soccer games and exhibitions", amongst other pursuits.

 

Ah, interesting!  Well, I cannot quite explain that.  Almost all other MLS team names show a trademark ownership of Major League Soccer, LLC. (Or, in the case of the Montreal Impact, MLS Canada LP, while the Toronto FC name shows the U.S. company as the trademark owner.)

 

And the Vancouver Whitecaps name shows an ownership of Vancouver Whitecaps FC, LP.  I don't know what to make of this.

 

Perhaps these arrangements with Red Bull and with the Whitecaps explain why the Cosmos, back when the talks with MLS were going on, hoped to be able to negotiate a special deal with the league about retaining ownership of their name.

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