nas1787

American Rugby Union

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Yes that is Harlequins and the SF jerseys really remind me of those.

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Alright so let's stay in California and move on to LA. I really struggled finding a name I liked for this club (I find Stars to be just a little too obvious, and overused on these boards). Someone suggested borrowing from the English Premiership and using Saracens, and I remember reading recently that something like 1/3 of West Hollywood is people of Iranian descent, so I thought the name could be a nice nod to that population. I'm a little reticent to name any team after a group of people (I'm firmly against names like Redskins and Indians) but I'm unaware of Saracens being considered derogatory. If you know of anything differently, let me know. Another concern is would an American audience be accepting of a club with so many Islamic symbols?

Anyways, on to the concept. I borrowed the Saracens name, but wanted to make the design significantly different. The crest uses a holding shape that certainly looks a bit like Middle Eastern architecture. In the shape are two crescent moons and a star, commonly used symbols (including in the original Saracens logo). The kits have oversized crescents on either side, using green as an accent colour as it is considered to be quite important among Muslim culture. I also broke with tradition a bit in the placement of the crest. American Apparel, a brand that is very much tied to its hometown of LA, is on the shirt.

I know this may be a bit out there, so let me know your thoughts.

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I like it and I doubt Saracens is found deragatory mainly because the english club would have probably changed the name already. I absolutely love the kit design.

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I don't know about this one... I keep seeing the details on the shirt trying to outline breasts.

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American Apparel as your sponsor is hilarious. Does that mean their fans liked this team before they were mainstream?

In all seriousness though, I like the colors and the backstory about the name. I wasn't aware of the large Iranian population in the area so I think that's a cool concept. It is also a nice change of pace from "Stars" or some variation in LA.

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The Hollywood area has a ton of people from southwest Asia. There's a huge Armenian population, for example.

That said, in a bubble, it's awesome, but I strongly doubt that the US would accept the heavy Muslim symbols. The crescents, the logo, the heavy use of green...I just don't see it going over well, especially with LA.

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There is, unquestionably, a large Iranian émigré population in Southern California, with the bulk of it being centered in Greater Los Angeles. While U.S. Census data puts the number of Iranian-Americans in the region at about 350,000 people, the Iranian community in Southern California self-estimates its population at 500,000. Particularly high concentrations of people of Iranian descent live in the cities of Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, as well as the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Westwood, Brentwood, West LA, Encino, and Tarzana.

Where your use of symbols and colors normally associated with Muslim culture becomes somewhat problematic is in relation to the fact that Persian Jews make up a large percentage, if not the majority, of Iranian-Americans living in Greater Los Angeles. In fact, the majority of Persian Jews in the world, after Israel, live in Los Angeles and neighboring cities. For instance, it is estimated that a full 1/5 of the population of Beverly Hills is comprised of Persian Jews, with 1/3 of the student population at Beverly Hills High School being of Persian Jewish descent.

For those reasons, I think Saracens Los Angeles is probably not the best branding for your LA-based American Rugby Union team.

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Saracens would work just fine if you crafted an appropriate history for it, even building in how it emerged in spite of the heavy Jewish population. Ultimately it's all economic, so if the local Muslim population diligently supported their club, then it could have risen to the top and survived and eventually become LA's team. All you ever have to do is look at Green Bay for proof that a pro team can emerge from the most improbable roots.

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Saracens would work just fine if you crafted an appropriate history for it, even building in how it emerged in spite of the heavy Jewish population. Ultimately it's all economic, so if the local Muslim population diligently supported their club, then it could have risen to the top and survived and eventually become LA's team. All you ever have to do is look at Green Bay for proof that a pro team can emerge from the most improbable roots.

Very true, but I think nas's idea is that the ARU is a new organization.

I think that Saracens could work as a name if all Muslim iconography is removed from it. The London team has a star and crescent logo, but it uses red and black as its colors.

If this one goes up for revision, that might be an idea worth exploring -- that, or switching to an "angelic" motif. Los Angeles Archangels (or Seraphim), anyone?

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You could make it like they were modeled after the London club.

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Thanks for all the info everyone. Dandy is right in that I view this as being a new competition being set up in the present day, so there really wouldn't be a history to go along with the club. It would be in essence a newly created franchise (although maybe owned by a rich Iranian immigrant?). I really love what's happening in the America League with the history of each club, but that's not the direction I've gone with the ARU.

Brian, thanks for the info on the LA population. It sounds like there is an even bigger Middle Eastern population than I had thought at first, but certainly its problematic if the majority of them are Jewish.

I'm going to leave this one for the time being as I have a few others coming down the pipe. The answer may be to keep the name but remove the religious iconography. How many people really know what a Saracen is these days anyway? But I'll leave it for now and introduce a couple more concepts, and revisit LA near the end. I want it to be perfect considering its one of the biggest market clubs in the ARU.

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That's the sad thing about leagues starting up today instead of in historic times. There will never be another Green Bay, or Redskins, or Fighting Irish. Every new team will be in a top-30 metropolitan area, and every team name and logo will be safe and politically correct and blandly marketable. As much as I hate the Cleveland Browns name, colors, and uniform, I love that it exists and has held on to those things that I truly can't stand. It gives the NFL character and a true sense of history. Green Bay would never be allowed to have a team, much less call themselves the Packers, much less have just a G as their logo.

Just a small rant. I love the idea of an LA team being called the Saracens. I hope he can come up with a logical, fun way to justify keeping it.

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The Hollywood area has a ton of people from southwest Asia. There's a huge Armenian population, for example.

That said, in a bubble, it's awesome, but I strongly doubt that the US would accept the heavy Muslim symbols. The crescents, the logo, the heavy use of green...I just don't see it going over well, especially with LA.

I had the same first impression. They say "trust your first impressions".

Then I thought, hey these are concepts. As we can say we should take into consideration factors like cities, environnements, history, should we absolutly stick to the current and actual "social" matters?

We're making concepts because they are not real life things. Why not try new things.

In the end, fine with me. I am catholic..

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nas1787 - this is some pretty impressive work.

If you or anyone else are interested in working with actual rugby clubs and organizations on the design element front, feel free to contact me at egeib[at]usarugby[dot]org. I'm the Competitions Manager for USA Rugby and clubs have asked for leads on this type of stuff before.

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Also, in case anyone was wondering, this is what the logos for the top 8 rugby clubs in the U.S. look like:

Elite%20Cup%20Banner.png

USA Rugby Elite Cup

West: Denver Barbarians, Glendale Raptors, San Francisco Golden Gate, Seattle Old Puget Sound Beach

East: Boston RFC, Life University Running Eagles, New York Athletic Club, Old Blue of New York

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The Hollywood area has a ton of people from southwest Asia. There's a huge Armenian population, for example.

That said, in a bubble, it's awesome, but I strongly doubt that the US would accept the heavy Muslim symbols. The crescents, the logo, the heavy use of green...I just don't see it going over well, especially with LA.

I had the same first impression. They say "trust your first impressions".

Then I thought, hey these are concepts. As we can say we should take into consideration factors like cities, environnements, history, should we absolutly stick to the current and actual "social" matters?

We're making concepts because they are not real life things. Why not try new things.

In the end, fine with me. I am catholic..

I totally agree that trying new things is fine and that trying a daring concept that defies expectations is fine. I'm just saying that in a realistic approach, the Muslim iconography probably wouldn't fly.

Make no mistake, I have no qualms myself with the design...as I said, out of context, it's gorgeous, just like the rest of the ARU stuff. If the Saracens were my local team, I wouldn't have a problem with it...but I could see joe schmo on the street flipping out in this hypothetical universe. All of those factors -- history, environment, etc. -- SHOULD be taken into consideration, but the Muslim heavy imagery *probably* wouldn't work.

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The Hollywood area has a ton of people from southwest Asia. There's a huge Armenian population, for example.

That said, in a bubble, it's awesome, but I strongly doubt that the US would accept the heavy Muslim symbols. The crescents, the logo, the heavy use of green...I just don't see it going over well, especially with LA.

I had the same first impression. They say "trust your first impressions".

Then I thought, hey these are concepts. As we can say we should take into consideration factors like cities, environnements, history, should we absolutly stick to the current and actual "social" matters?

We're making concepts because they are not real life things. Why not try new things.

In the end, fine with me. I am catholic..

I totally agree that trying new things is fine and that trying a daring concept that defies expectations is fine. I'm just saying that in a realistic approach, the Muslim iconography probably wouldn't fly.

Make no mistake, I have no qualms myself with the design...as I said, out of context, it's gorgeous, just like the rest of the ARU stuff. If the Saracens were my local team, I wouldn't have a problem with it...but I could see joe schmo on the street flipping out in this hypothetical universe. All of those factors -- history, environment, etc. -- SHOULD be taken into consideration, but the Muslim heavy imagery *probably* wouldn't work.

I did not get you wrong. I fully understand.

In real life, Mmmmm, it would certainly be a risk.

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Without knowing the full details about the Saracens club in England, I am going to say the team was formed by a Muslim group, for Muslim players, many years ago, and that would be why the name is/was not a problem. But to just name a team that makes me feel uneasy. But I do like the Seraphs et al.

So after reading a bit more on this - the Saracens union club was formed by a group of "Old Boys" from what became Maryleborne Grammar School. The name was meant to honor much like "Braves" and not like the nickname of the Washington NFL team. But I'm still uneasy with it.

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Allow me to throw my hat into the ring here on the Saracens name:

I understand that it is an established rugby name and that there is history behind the name. I also understand that there is a large Iranian-American population in West LA (about 30,000?) and that a wealthy Persian owner could have named his team whatever he wanted. However, I think it would be very difficult for the far larger Jewish population (over 600,000) of Los Angeles to get behind a Saracens team, with or without the Muslim imagery.

Being Jewish myself, I would find it difficult to support a team that I knew had such Muslim significance and I think some Christians might as well.

Now, it is important to point out that for most people who are not Muslim, this hesitation to root for this club wouldn't stem from racism and stereotypes (mine certainly wouldn't). I just think that it is dangerous to throw religiously-themed ideas into the world of sports when such vitriol gets thrown around on the subject of religion in our society.

Just one man's opinion.

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