BryanSmalls

Houston Dynamo (MLS) exploring possible rebrand.

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Not a fan of this. I think Houston Dynamo is actually a good name. They have been around for while (by MLS standards), and actually have a lot of success with this name/branding. Made 4 MLS Finals and won 2 MLS Cups. 

 

They could use a new logo...But they should definitely keep the colors. They are/have been the only orange MLS team. Even the stadium has orange seats.  I would like to see them go orange/black/orange as the full time home look.

 

It would REALLY suck to see them rebrand to Houston FC or Houston United with some generic roundel logo.

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A rebrand of the Houston Dynamo would be an asinine waste of time, effort, and money.

If Dynamo management wants "to increase [the team's] prominence within Houston", they would be far better served by rebuilding the organization that made six trips to the MLS playoffs in its first serve seasons of existence, including four MLS Cup Championship appearances and a pair of league titles. By contrast, the club has just two playoff appearances in its last seven MLS seasons. It is the lackluster on-field product - exacerbated by middling marketing efforts and a stadium that offers little in the way of protection from the region's unforgiving heat during day games - that has undermined the club's fan engagement of late. As such, ownership needs to commit to building a consistently competitive and compelling team.   

As for branding, the Houston Dynamo sports a unique color scheme within Major League Soccer, a name that's simultaneously a nod to modern North American and traditional international naming conventions, and a crest that strikes me as a solid mid-tier logo in the league. Further, as noted, its an identity that has graced a pair of MLS Cup Championship-winning sides.


As I've noted elsewhere, it drives me crazy when I hear so-called die-hard soccer supporters grousing about the sport's supposed lack of tradition and authenticity in the United States and Canada, then turning around and advocating for clubs that have actually managed to build championship-caliber tradition to abandon the team identities that adorned it. A club doesn't establish authentic tradition by swapping-out its identity of a decade-plus at the first sign of supporter apathy or discontent. That's minor league-level trend-chasing, not a commitment to maintaining tradition. 

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6 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:

As I've noted elsewhere, it drives me crazy when I hear so-called die-hard soccer supporters grousing about the sport's supposed lack of tradition and authenticity in the United States and Canada, then turning around and advocating for clubs that have actually managed to build championship-caliber tradition to abandon the team identities that adorned it. A club doesn't establish authentic tradition by swapping-out its identity of a decade-plus at the first sign of supporter apathy or discontent. That's minor league-level trend-chasing, not a commitment to maintaining tradition. 

 

Well, MLS is a minor league in the larger scheme of association football. It's a place to develop talent and a place where old superstars come to ride out a few years to get stuff done.

 

This is also a league that uses expansion fees as a way to prop up league operations, with a bunch of people hoping these clubs will be worth something one day. The bubble is going to burst one day.

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1 hour ago, Digby said:

 

 

Y'all, San Jose got the Quakes back 12 years ago, I think we can move on.


Well, the point is pretty much moot to me by now, because I’m getting my team in 2023. But the Zombie Quakes are about as comparable to the expansion Browns as you could get. Sure, the uniforms are back. But everything else? Yikes. 
 

That was a weird time to be a soccer fan in Northern California. I even switched to the (gulp) Galaxy there for awhile simply because there wasn’t another option (Beckham helped). I’m still a bit annoyed we lost the original Earthquakes, but it definitely helped contribute to my non-regional love of the sport as a whole. 

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21 minutes ago, FiddySicks said:

 

That was a weird time to be a soccer fan in Northern California. I even switched to the (gulp) Galaxy there for awhile simply because there wasn’t another option (Beckham helped). I’m still a bit annoyed we lost the original Earthquakes, but it definitely helped contribute to my non-regional love of the sport as a whole. 

 

Going to undergrad in Portland, just as the Timbers started to get good, helped foster my appreciation for other teams. Then I moved to Milwaukee (no club), then Denver (a club that most of the metropole pretends doesn't even exist). I'm more of a "does the crest look good?"/"do I know people from there?" guy these days.

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Same. I like the Sounders because of the work I did for them, and I’ve got a special place for the Rapids simply because their head of sales used to be a guy I worked with for several years. 

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I may be from Houston and still live there, but I wouldnt consider myself a Dynamo fan. However, this thread inspired me to go check out actual Dynamo fan sites and boards to get their take on it. They all have the same consensus as us in that the logo/crest could use a refresh, but the colors and name should stay. They also feel ownership would be better off actually spending money on talent and that putting a good team on the field would go way further in getting increased ticket sales rather than worrying about having a new look/name.

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1 hour ago, FiddySicks said:


Well, the point is pretty much moot to me by now, because I’m getting my team in 2023. But the Zombie Quakes are about as comparable to the expansion Browns as you could get. Sure, the uniforms are back. But everything else? Yikes. 
 

That was a weird time to be a soccer fan in Northern California. I even switched to the (gulp) Galaxy there for awhile simply because there wasn’t another option (Beckham helped). I’m still a bit annoyed we lost the original Earthquakes, but it definitely helped contribute to my non-regional love of the sport as a whole. 

 

Feel like the Quakes were a nonfactor both before and after the Houston hiatus. Which I get how that makes those dual MLS Cups painful (hey, they were painful for me too as a Revs fan!). But they were stuck in that 12k attendance zone before and after the zombie/imposter era, no? Until the new stadium finally opened.

 

Anyway, the Quakes and the Dynamo and a half-dozen other teams, at least, seem stuck on this idea that they just need to find a single magic bullet to unlock soccer success -- whether it's the platonic ideal of a Generic FC crest, or finding the one good-not-great Mexico player, or the one coach with a nice resume that will solve all the problems. All of that is useless without a sustainable culture.

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2 hours ago, SFGiants58 said:

Well, MLS is a minor league in the larger scheme of association football. It's a place to develop talent and a place where old superstars come to ride out a few years to get stuff done.

 

This is also a league that uses expansion fees as a way to prop up league operations, with a bunch of people hoping these clubs will be worth something one day. The bubble is going to burst one day.


If we're being honest, "in the larger scheme of association football" worldwide, the majority of professional clubs and leagues are serving as "a minor league" for the better teams in the  Barclays Premier League, La Liga, 1.Bundesliga, Serie A, and Ligue 1. Let's not pretend that MLS is the world's exclusive "place to develop talent" and provide a home for "old superstars... to ride out a few years".

As for Major League Soccer's recent addition of eight franchises in six years, with an additional four clubs to come on board in the next three years, the circuit is hardly unique amongst  North American sports leagues in taking advantage of the revenue-generation to be realized through expansion. Further, MLS isn't the first North American pro sports league to engage in a flurry of expansion in a relatively short period of time. The addition of 12 MLS clubs in nine years can be compared to the NBA's expansion into eight new markets in five seasons between 1966 and 1970. Similarly, the NHL granted 10 expansion teams over nine seasons between 1970 and 1979, another five expansion teams over three seasons between 1991 and 1993, and four expansion teams over three seasons between 1998 and 2000.

In any event, my original point stands: a U.S.-based soccer club like the Houston Dynamo doesn't help itself - or soccer in this country as a whole - establish authentic tradition by swapping-out its identity of a decade-plus at the first sign of supporter apathy or discontent. That's particularly true given the championship-winning success achieved under the Houston Dynamo brand.

A cleaning up/refreshing/tweaking of the logo? Sure. Perhaps as simple an adjustment as marrying aspects of their current badge to something akin to the straightforward minimalism of Brazilian club Botafogo's crest.

tUJdFyim.png  fWrGyrUm.png

Keep the outer shape of Houston's current shield, but eliminate the band containing the word DYNAMO and said word mark. Either maintain the existing color breakdown of a Raven Black shield outlined in Space City Blue, Wildcatter Orange, and White, or make the interior of the shield Wildcatter Orange and outline it in Raven Black, Space City Blue, and White. Eliminate the soccer ball and the radiating lines and circle from around the white star. Enlarge the star within the shield to a size slightly smaller that that in the Botafogo crest, but still large enough to stand as the badge's dominant design element. Slide the star down just enough within the shield to allow for HOUSTON to still be arched above it. Just below the HOUSTON - in the same size, font, and arch - position DYNAMO (the D aligned beneath the space between the H and O, the Y aligned beneath the space between the O and U, etc.).

As for the Houston Dynamo name and color scheme, that shouldn't be touched.      
      

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4 hours ago, radchad said:

Yeah the colors are unique and need to stay. I don't think the Dynamo name fits particularly well (but I 100% prefer it over FC, SC, United, City, etc.), and I frankly think the crest is not good.

 

I have a soft spot for the crest that came with the aborted 1836 identity. Obviously they can't use the 1836 name, but a star-shaped badge is a cool idea, especially for a team from Houston.

Houston Dynamo Flashback Series: Houston 1836

This is all they need. Just replace 1836 with Dynamo and move on. 

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41 minutes ago, Digby said:

 

Feel like the Quakes were a nonfactor both before and after the Houston hiatus. Which I get how that makes those dual MLS Cups painful (hey, they were painful for me too as a Revs fan!). But they were stuck in that 12k attendance zone before and after the zombie/imposter era, no? Until the new stadium finally opened.

 

Anyway, the Quakes and the Dynamo and a half-dozen other teams, at least, seem stuck on this idea that they just need to find a single magic bullet to unlock soccer success -- whether it's the platonic ideal of a Generic FC crest, or finding the one good-not-great Mexico player, or the one coach with a nice resume that will solve all the problems. All of that is useless without a sustainable culture.

Atlanta is finding that out now too. Without Tata, what have they done? 

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30 minutes ago, MJWalker45 said:

Atlanta is finding that out now too. Without Tata, what have they done? 

 

I have more faith in Atlanta, since they've demonstrated legit roster building and they established their floor so high, in terms of fanbase, that even some bad seasons and new-shiny-thing loss probably won't cut it to the bone. You're right, though, that the sustainability of their supposed genius and success is an open question, if not an existential threat.

 

Also a great branding example, in that I think their brand kind of sucks -- nothing "local" beyond the colors, sort of, generic name and look that's not too far off from a division rival, and overall muddy blah look to it. But it's worked for them, in the context of the overall club success. And it can be a Rorshach test, kind of: Did they come out the gate with 50k fans a night because their brand and name projected soccer-y legitimacy? Or did they make a forgettable brand cooler by pairing it with quality on the pitch, smart business/marketing, and a cool stadium?

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Houston’s only improvement could come from embracing the space aspect of the city. Maybe change the crest to something looking like an Apollo flight patch. Colors need to stay.

 

In a lot of ways my Sounders have done the opposite of Houston: keep the on-field product first-rate while the branding has been steadily getting worse the last 7 years. This year’s home kit is an abomination. Early on the club kept it clean with our great colors and had some wild thirds just to mix it up. Now we lost our cool sponsor (Xbox) and mostly cool unis (although the nightfall kits aren’t bad for an alt).

 

Meanwhile, Sounder green and blue would look PHENOMENAL in stripes or checkerboard but no one has figured it out. Maybe Houston can try it with orange and black.

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Orange and maroon from the Houston Summit Soccer?

Baltimore Blast 1980-81 tequila sunrise?  

 

Blast%2081-82%20Home%20Team.jpg

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5 hours ago, Brian in Boston said:

As I've noted elsewhere, it drives me crazy when I hear so-called die-hard soccer supporters grousing about the sport's supposed lack of tradition and authenticity in the United States and Canada

 

You can stop right there.

 

MLS is no less authentic than any other league, and the names are a perfect example.  Manchester United and West Ham United chose those names specifically because they sounded football-y.  If MLS isn't "authentic", then neither are they.

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8 hours ago, pepis21 said:

Change for change sake! I guess the problem is that Dynamo is associated with Soviet Union teams but still change for change sake.

 

1974 NASL calling....


74dendyn-678x381-1546271502.pngspacer.png

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20 hours ago, Gothamite said:

MLS is no less authentic than any other league, and the names are a perfect example.  Manchester United and West Ham United chose those names specifically because they sounded football-y.  If MLS isn't "authentic", then neither are they.


Exactly my point. Major League Soccer is as authentic as any other league in the world. The branding of its teams - all of them - is as authentic as any other team branding in the world. Why? Because given that the sport of soccer's history and traditions are global/multiethnic/multicultural, it stands to reason that everything from playing styles to club naming conventions will reflect the breadth of the cultures that have adopted the sport and made it their own.

Accrington Stanley, Ajax and Arsenal... Black Leopards FC, Boca Juniors and Boston Minutemen... Charlton Athletic, Chicago Sting, and Chivas... DC United, Derby County and Dinamo București... Eintracht Frankfurt, El Paso Locomotives and Estudiantes... Feyenoord, Flamengo and Forward Madison... Gamba Osaka, Go Ahead Eagles and Guangzhou Evergrande... Hearts of Midlothian, Heracles Almelo and Hertha BSC... Independiente, Indy Eleven and Inter... Joe Public FC, Jubilo Iwata and Juventus... Kaizer Chiefs, Kashima Antlers and Kerala Blasters... Las Vegas Quicksilvers, Leyton Orient and Lokomotiv Moscow... Maccabi Tel Aviv, Manchester United and Mamelodi Sundowns... Nagoya Grampus, Newell's Old Boys and New York Cosmos... Olympique de Marseille, Orlando Pirates and Osasuna... Paris Saint-Germain, Perth Glory and Preston North End... Queensboro FC, Queens Park Rangers and Qviding FIF... Real Madrid, Richmond Kickers and Rosenborg ... Sampdoria, Seattle Sounders FC and Sheffield Wednesday... Tampa Bay Rowdies, Toronto FC and Tottenham Hotspur... Udinese, Ulsan Hyundai and Union Omaha, ... Valour FC, Vasco da Game, and Viking... Wellington Phoenix, West Ham United and Willem II... Xanthi FC, Xelajú MC and Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard... Yeovil Town, Yokohama F. Marinos and Young Africans SC... Zamalek SC, Zenit and Zulia FC.

These are all authentic soccer club identities and, as such, part of the sport's global tradition. Houston Dynamo - indeed, all of Major League Soccer's team brands - are as much a part of said tradition as any of these names.

Variety... it's the spice of life.      

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9 hours ago, Digby said:

 

Feel like the Quakes were a nonfactor both before and after the Houston hiatus. Which I get how that makes those dual MLS Cups painful (hey, they were painful for me too as a Revs fan!). But they were stuck in that 12k attendance zone before and after the zombie/imposter era, no? Until the new stadium finally opened.

 

Anyway, the Quakes and the Dynamo and a half-dozen other teams, at least, seem stuck on this idea that they just need to find a single magic bullet to unlock soccer success -- whether it's the platonic ideal of a Generic FC crest, or finding the one good-not-great Mexico player, or the one coach with a nice resume that will solve all the problems. All of that is useless without a sustainable culture.


They actually had a pretty well put together front office on the soccer ops side. They had two titles in their history, and a big chunk of that roster won two titles in the two seasons after they left San Jose. The biggest issue they had (which persisted for awhile even with the new club) was that they couldn’t find a viable stadium option. From what I remember, San Jose State was never viable long term, and it really started to wear on the operation. They couldn’t find a viable spot to play in the Bay Area, so they took Houston’s deal. They weren’t moving necessarily due to fan support (and the thought was that the stadium issue led to a lot of the fan issues), and it was kind of ridiculous it cost the Bay Area the original team. Especially considering they had a new yard less than a decade later. Real estate in the Bay Area really isn’t that simple though, of course. 

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Absolutely nothing wrong with Houston Dynamo. However, if there is to be a name change, go back that city's NASL identity, Houston Hurricane. Both teams wore orange and orange should remain. Stay the heck away from generic Euro names.

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