Friday, February 09, 2007

You Can't Polish A Turd (Rapids Name Change)

It's an old saying in America (at least the midwest). And it's one that KSE, the owner of the Colorado Rapids have sadly not taken to heart. Reports out of England have it that the Colorado Rapids and Arsenal FC (London, England) have signed a "partnership" (i.e. KSE and Arsenal came to an agreement over the Arsenal name which is copyrighted in the USA by Arsenal FC). The Rapids will be holding a new conference tomorrow (Friday) to make this announcement. As for the title, it sums up with Kroenke Sports Enterprises (KSE) are doing with this. KSE owns several teams in Denver including the Denver Nuggets (NBA) and the Colorado Avalanche (NHL). One thing they haven't done since buying the Colorado Rapids (MLS) 3 years ago is run the team well. The Rapids performance on the pitch has been mediocre. In the 3 seasons they've played, they've lost more games than they've won (34-35-25). While spending money on big players doesn't in itself bring success on the field or off of it, the organization has yet to spend even the league maximum on a player since KSE's purchase. What about the $400,000 that Clint Mathis makes for driving the team's golf cart around at practice? Well, last year Real Salt Lake picked up a major portion of that paycheck. Props to Clavijo for taking the risk on the player, but the organization wasn't doing the same with their pocket book. Worse, attendance at games is down 15% since KSE purchased the team. In fact, in 2006 the Rapids set the league's all-time worst attendance record for a single game. The dropping attendance and lack of results are the turd I'm speaking of. Changing the teams name is not going to change this. A name change didn't save San Jose. A new stadium and name change have not turned around FC Dallas' so-so attendance. The same likely will hold true for the Colorado Rapids. Instead of investing resources into finding ways to market to an over crowded entertainment market in Denver (Broncos, Rockies, skiing, mountain biking, Rapids, Avalanche, movies, hiking, theater, Nuggets, national parks, Outlaws, et al.), KSE has spent it's off season yet again changing the teams uniforms and it's logo and name. Instead of putting these resources into selling tickets or landing a big name player for the team, they've put resources into changing the teams' name and put out press releases touting other teams players to sell tickets. Note : Colorado TV Station KUSA is reporting that the MLS has a rule stating that a team must notify the league 18 months in advance of such a change. I've never heard of this before. In fact, seeing San Jose move to Houston after winning the MLS championship, picking the name Houston 1836 and quickly dropping it for Houston Dynamo brings the claim of such a rule into question.


Nathan said...

Well, you could plausibly argue that the Dynamo "name change" wasn't a name change, it was a naming, since the Earthquakes name and record book is being reserved for the team that will eventually be restarted in San Jose.

In other words it was treated as a new team, hence a "new" name, not an existing team with a "rebrand/rename".

That's my guess anyway.

I hope MLS does enforce the rule, which will stop the Rapids from taking this ridiculous name.

George said...

channel 9 got that from The Independent in England. but what about the name change from MetroStars to Red Bulls? that didn't take 18 months. Please, rapids, DON'T CHANGE YOUR NAME!