MLS' Kansas City franchise announced on Wednesday its new identity, including a new name, new crest, new colors and a totally new look to go along with the new stadium that will open in 2011:
The Kansas City Wizards are now Sporting Kansas City.
Check out the new website: SportingKC.com
“We acquired our team from the greatest entrepreneur in the history of American sports,” Sporting President Robb Heineman said in a statement released by the club, referring to previous owner Lamar Hunt. “Moving forward, the vision of our brand is to continuously innovate and provide high-performance experiences for our members.”
More than 1,000 supporters attended the official unveiling in Kansas City. And Sporting's recently signed designated player, Mexican striker Omar Bravo, was also on handing, making his first appearance in town since signing.
“Our mission is to connect Kansas City to the premier professional sports experiences in the Midwest,” Heineman said. “We look forward to sharing more exciting news about future events and to hosting all our great fans in our new home upon its opening in June.”
The club's new crest has several elements, including boasting the upside-down teardrop shape of the original Wiz shield. The 11 stripes represent the 11 players on a field, and the right edge of the lines forms the angled shape of the Missouri-Kansas state line. The crest's designers took inspiration from Greek mythology and art, including the rod of the Greek god Asclepius and the statue Winged Victory and from Spanish architecture, a major part of Kansas City's Country Club Plaza district.
The use of the name "Sporting," as opposed to soccer, "represents the vision of Sporting Club to integrate additional sports and entertainment properties into the organization," according to the statement.
“Our goal is to revolutionize the way a professional sports team connects with fans through premier experiences and spaces,” Heineman said. “We believe a change in identify for the club was necessary to effectively live and breathe this vision. The name ‘Sporting’ represents our desire to become a dynamic organization focused on creating opportunities for social, cultural and athletic connections."
Sporting KC will have a new home next year, too. They will open an 18,500-seat, $180 million stadium in June 2011.