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NWSL’s Kansas City team will remain unbranded for 2021

No name generic team vibes only.

There’s a brand in Canada called No Name brand. Every item sold under No Name is a basic blocky yellow generically labeled with the item’s name. A can of diet cola? Is labeled “diet cola.” That’s it. And that’s the vibe that Kansas City are going to roll with for 2021, as they roll out their new crest and colors, but delay announcing a name “while the club develops a permanent name and brand for future seasons,” per their announcement. For now they’re just Kansas City NWSL.

The club not having a proper team name is a little bit of a downer but it was a very short window to develop an entire brand for the 2021 season. The Utah Royals got sold in early December, making it just a month and change to pull all this together. Consider that Angel City FC announced in 2020 for a 2022 debut, because they thought they needed that year-plus of runway to properly launch. So given that the other option was letting the Royals as a franchise collapse, there’s a lot of room for generosity here. And if the Washington football team can play under that name all this time, then why not KC?

Here’s KC’s explanation of the elements of the crest:

The team crest focuses on a large “KC,” showcasing the club’s mission to Play For Kansas City. The two stars represent Kansas and Missouri, while the stripes demonstrate the history of the region’s railways and crossroads, with a nod to the Santa Fe, Oregon and California National Historic Trails that cross Kansas City. The red and blue colors reflect the primary colors in the state flags of the region and the teal brings a fresh color and feel to the club, distinctly evoking the bright future of the team and organization.

As an interesting side debate, even though KC say that the two stars in their logo represent the two states of Missouri and Kansas, everyone is absolutely going to assume they are the two original stars that FC Kansas City earned for national championships before the team got moved to Utah. There’s not really a question that teams that get moved wholesale can keep stars they earned. Though much of this KC team are still part of a core that played under the original FCKC banner, and there is a sense that they are being welcomed home by fans, a team isn’t just its players. After all, when new players join the roster of a championship team, they also put on a uniform with a star on it even though they had no hand in winning that specific star. The star belongs to the club, since the whole club working together produced the championship. Anyway, this is a longwinded way to say KC is going to have a very mild design issue should they win any new championships and have to add another star over the top of the crest. Also, it may end up being moot as the whole crest could get scrapped after 2021.

What do you think of this crest and these colors? Are the three stripes going to create some Adidas brand confusion? Is this generic or just clean? Should they lean into being “KC NWSL team”? Let us know in the comments!