Thursday, April 2, 2009

Red Bull New York

Red Bull New York became Red Bull New York after the beverage company of the same name bought the NY/NJ Metrostars franchise in 2006. In doing so, Red Bull New York became the sister club of Red Bull Salzburg (Austria). Their badge and uniforms are identical with the lone exception of the city name. The concept of corporate sponsorship on soccer jerseys is fundamental in Europe, however this is new and uncomfortable in America.

So if the concept of a corporate logo on a uniform is alien, imagine the concept of naming the team after a beverage? When Saturday Comes called this “the worst marketing idea in the history of American sports”. I’m pretty sure that assessment is a bit harsh as the NY/NJ Metrostars were an awful club whose lack of success and charisma whilst in America’s largest sports market is a huge reason soccer has struggled in America. At least the Cosmos had Pele, Beckenbauer and Chinaglia.

I can’t really root for RBNY though I know I should. They’re my local team…I guess. For a brief spat of time I played center fullback in local pickup games that featured a handful of guys from RBNY’s practice squads. Those were brutal games and I suppose when I see this logo, I’m reminded of the umpteen times their six-foot-two striker ran me down like Texas road kill. Their logo also reminds me uncomfortably of the Red Bull beverage which I’ve historically only ingested while trying to get really drunk or trying to recover from being really drunk.

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