Brian in Boston

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Brian in Boston last won the day on May 15

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  1. Per Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in a recent Q&A linked to his regular column: "I know it's not Legacy. I know it's not Confluence. Those can be scratched from the list." Realistically, I think you can slash this list to the first six names.
  2. It certainly could, as there's been no official indication that Archers has been eliminated from contention as a part of the team's branding. Even if Archers weren't part of the official identity that team ownership unveils, there would be nothing preventing supporters from using it as an organically-adopted secondary nickname. Interestingly, the top of this placeholder badge on the MLS4THELOU website... ... could certainly accommodate the upper curve of the Gateway Arch. Further, the 8.13.20 tease that MLS4THELOU released... ... features thin yellow and red lines at the bottom. Yellow, red, and blue have been associated with the Carolyn Kindle Betz-led MLS bid since its launch, so the presence of two of said colors in the teaser image doesn't come as a surprise. The placement of the bits of yellow in the image are interesting, as they're spaced in such a way that they could be a portion of a depiction of the Gateway Arch - specifically, the point where the Arch's legs make contact with the base of the logo. Time will tell.
  3. Trust me... Stars wouldn't be my choice. In fact, I don't necessarily think it would be the first choice of a majority of St. Louis soccer supporters. That said, based upon what I've heard and read from friends in St. Louis, in on-line communities, and via media coverage, it does seem that Stars would be an agreeable second choice for many potential MLS St. Louis fans. If the team's owners haven't found that any one potential identity has jumped out as a clear first choice amongst Name-the-Team suggestions, or resonated with focus group attendees, might said owners be more amenable to resurrecting Stars as a significant part of the brand if it were clearly the second choice of most people? Look, for all I know, the perceived similarities in the fonts that I pointed out are mere coincidence. They could be part of a purposeful - and tremendously creative - misdirection on the part of the MLS4THELOU principals. Who knows? The only thing of which I'm certain is that I'm hyper-attuned to such potential "connections" as I while away the hours in the peaceful isolation that is "The Summer of COVID".
  4. Hmmmmm... I may be reading too much into the similarities of the classic Star Wars font and that used in MLS4THELOU's recent branding reveal tease, but the NPSL / NASL St. Louis Stars did play their final season in 1977... the same year that Star Wars debuted in cinemas. Would the new St. Louis MLS franchise follow in the branding footsteps of their brethren in San Jose, Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver by resurrecting a North American Soccer League moniker?
  5. From a purely logical standpoint, one would think that you'd become a die-hard Seattle Kraken fan. Why? * You're a Seattle area resident who has "dreamed of the NHL coming to Seattle since 2006!" The league has arrived in the city in the form of the Kraken. * You took an interest in the Vancouver Canucks because "they were the closest NHL team to Seattle". Geographically, a team in Seattle trumps "the closest NHL team to Seattle." * You initially began liking the Los Angeles Kings because you "needed a favorite U.S.-based" NHL team. The Kraken are U.S. based. Now, all of this said, sports fandom rarely tends to be a pursuit based upon logic. It is far more often a matter of blind emotion. The head can process all of the facts available, but the heart wants what the heart wants. Perhaps your ultimate decision will come down to branding. Which team's logo do you like the best? Which team sports the most pleasing color palette? Which team's uniforms are the most sartorially striking? Which team has the best name?
  6. The Ontario Hockey League and its member-teams may strike you as "lowly", but major junior hockey (particularly the sports' Canadian leagues and clubs) has long played an important role in the development of National Hockey League talent. As such, the NHL was undoubtedly loath to see an issue such as a trademark dispute become a sore spot between the two leagues and their teams. Further, by the time that Bill Foley's Las Vegas-based NHL expansion bid was approved in June 2016, an OHL team dubbed the London Knights had been in operation for 48 years, with said club holding the existing Canadian Intellectual Property Office trademark rights to its name for 19 years. As a result, Foley's NHL franchise wasn't going to be able to secure the Canadian trademark rights to the Knights name. Yes, theoretically, Foley could have opted to name his NHL franchise the Las Vegas Knights or Vegas Knights, but the team wouldn't have enjoyed trademark protection for said identity in Canada. That would have opened up all manner of problems when it came to issues such as merchandise licensing. Which is precisely why the London Knights opted to protect their trademark in Canada and why Foley opted to trademark the name Vegas Golden Knights. Each entity wants to own their space - no matter how marginally different they might be - with regard to areas such as advertising, marketing, and licensed product merchandising.
  7. What about taking this color way and either... * Flipping the Gold and Navy elements on the Apotheosis of St. Louis, or * Making the Navy elements of the Apotheosis Gold and the Gold elements White? Also, in the SLT monogram, the T needs to be shrunken a bit.
  8. It isn't that the same nickname can't be used by franchises playing in the different North American major pro sports leagues. The examples you've pointed out are proof that such a scenario can occur. Rather, the move away from the same nickname being used by teams playing in the different major pro leagues is likely due to the majority of modern franchises wanting to carve out a unique space for themselves in the highly competitive pro sports marketplace. Whether for purposes of advertising, marketing, or with an eye towards licensed product merchandising, today's teams want to own their space. The vast majority feel that the best way to do so is by adopting a unique identity.
  9. For me, it's the fact that the Space Anchor (Anchor Needle?) has a monstrous, red eye.
  10. Out of the 13 potential team names that the NHL Seattle ownership group initially registered for trademark protection, five would have fit a nautical theme.
  11. As others have said, even if team ownership didn't choose the name solely and specifically for its meme potential, there's a risk in choosing a brand identity that may well have gained enough mindshare in the general populace via being a meme. The risk is that said meme plays itself out before the franchise establishes its name/identity in other ways - namely, via competitive success as a pro sports franchise. Now, as I've said from the moment the identity was unveiled today, I think that - despite believing the name is too gimmicky - both the logos and the uniforms are very well-designed. That, in and of itself, helps to offset some of the weaknesses I perceive to be connected to the name. However, going forward, there's a branding tightrope to be walked here. Thus far, team management and the branding professionals that they've hired have elected to lean into restraint... to embrace the "mystery" surrounding the franchise's namesake mascot. A glimpse of a tentacle here, a hint of an eye there. There's no depiction of a monstrous, multi-limbed, stick-wielding cephalopod to be found in the brand package. It will be interesting to see whether restraint and "mystery" will be enough to satisfy the team's fans going forward. Not so much here, but on other websites and social media platforms, I've already seen some fans clamoring for more overt depictions of a creature - something befitting the "Release the Kracken!" mindset, so to speak - to be added to the team's logo package. Bottom line? Like any sports branding package, there is the potential for an initially strong identity to be undermined bit by bit. Some identities, just based upon the nature of their theme, are more at risk than others. It is going to be interesting to see how Kraken ownership/management navigates this challenge going forward. Because, while the Kraken name may not have been chosen "specifically for its meme potential", I still contend that it gained enough mindshare with a significant percentage of the general populace because of a meme. And what drew many of said folks to the meme in question was an attraction to the over-the-top potential inherent in a brand based upon an over-the-top movie.
  12. I never claimed that the name was chosen solely for the hashtag they wanted on the first day. Rather, it was my contention that without the existence of the Liam Neeson "Release the Kracken!" meme, there's every reason to believe that the Kraken identity never gains enough mindshare in the general populace to prove capable of building up a groundswell of support as a potential team name. As for the Kraken merchandise on the NHL shop not bearing the catch phrase, it's my understanding that only this afternoon's "ReleaSe the Kracken"-branded items generate money for charity. That being the case, it would not be a good look for the team to release a slew of catch phrase-imprinted merchandise on a platform that doesn't benefit a partner charity and, thereby, risk siphoning away sales from the outlet that is benefitting the charitable endeavor. There will be plenty of time to potentially include purely profit-driving, catch phrase-bearing merchandise on the NHL shop down the road.
  13. I'm sure it's completely coincidental that today's brand unveiling featured multiple exhortations to "Release the Kraken!" and that said tagline is plastered all over the souvenir merchandise that went on sale. Nothing whatsoever to do with the pop culture meme that is Liam Neeson's Zeus bellowing the line in Clash of the Titans.
  14. "The name Hornets has a historical significance in our area," said Shinn, who recalled that during the Revolutionary War a British commander referred to the area around Charlotte as a nest of hornets." - New York Times, June 6, 1967 Pushed in the actual branding? No. That said, the franchise's owner - George Shinn - did announce the specific reasoning for the name during the press conference revealing it to the public. The team's fanbase certainly knew the significance of the moniker, as its selection was the result of a Name-the-Team contest which saw Hornets best five other candidates - Knights, Cougars, Spirit, Crowns, and Stars.
  15. There is no chance that Seattle's NHL franchise would be dubbed the Kraken if not for Liam Neeson's Zeus bellowing, "Release the Kraken!" in the 2010 film Clash of the Titans. None. I'm 55 years old. In addition to being a rabid sports fan and graphic design/branding enthusiast, I've loved mythology, science fiction, movies, television, and comic books since I was a child. Prior to the release of the original Clash of the Titans in 1981, even a devoted pop-culture nerd (I plead, "Guilty.") would have been hard-pressed to find more than sporadic mentions - let alone appearances - of the creature known as the kraken in American cultural life. I recall reading about the kraken in a couple of collections of myths and legends, its being mentioned in passing in the Jules Verne novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and creatures identified as krakens appearing in a handful of comic books. I also recall giant squid - identified with exactly that terminology, "giant squid" - in some movies and on television. All of that said, the notion that kraken was a familiarly "cool word and image" to a large swath of the American public throughout the 36 years of the 20th century that I drew breath... well, that just doesn't ring true to me. Hell, even after the release of the 1981 Clash of the Titans, it was a pretty limited subset of society that would have been likely to conjure up images of a cephalopod-like kraken and consider said creature cool. For starters, the kraken that visual effects and stop-motion animation legend Ray Harryhausen created for the film was decidedly un-squidlike. Rather, it resembled a reptilian simian with a fish's tail and four arms ending in clawed hands. Further, Harryhausen's stop-motion Dynamation technique was already beginning to feel a bit dated when compared to even the earliest of the computer-assisted special effects technologies that were beginning to debut. Finally, Sir Laurence Olivier's introduction of the kraken in the 1981 film was hardly anything to get one's blood-racing. Rather than Neeson's aggressive delivery, Olivier's order to "Release the Kraken," was delivered almost half-heartedly. It was not the sort of impassioned exhortation that would have electrified an arena full of sports fans to rise to their feet and join in... or, inspire an NHL team's ownership group to select a name. Now, it strikes me that the first widespread notoriety that the mythical kraken achieved via 20th century pop culture was in the 2006 motion picture Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. This kraken was depicted - via CGI - as an enormous, destructive, many-tentacled cephalopod. The special effects work was impressive and the creature certainly made an impression. That said, nowhere in the film does a character utter the line, "Release the Kraken!" Rather, Davy Jones orders his men to "Wake the Kraken!" This is not the stuff that the most prevalent kraken-related memes have been made of. "Wake the Kraken!" hasn't been the rallying cry of those Seattle NHL enthusiasts who have been championing the adoption of a gigantic, mythical cephalopod as the team's namesake mascot since Seattle Hockey Partners were officially granted an expansion franchise just over 19 months ago. "Wake the Kraken!" wasn't the exhortation that introduced the identity of Seattle's NHL franchise today. Nor was "Wake the Kraken!" the slogan plastered on the souvenir merchandise that went on sale this afternoon. No, the meme that fueled the adoption of Seattle Kraken as the latest NHL team identity came to cinematic life - and subsequently burst forth from all manner of media platforms - thanks to Liam Neeson's gruff, gravelly 2010 command to "Release the Kraken!" The odds are that if Neeson never delivers that line, Seattle's NHL franchise is taking to the ice as the Sockeyes, Sea Lions, Emeralds, Evergreens, or any number of other identities, because Kraken would have been on the radar of precious few people.