The owners of the RED BULL energy drink have announced its purchase of the Major League Soccer franchise, the New York MetroStars , which will be re-named RED BULL New York
While incorporating a pre-existing trademark into a sports franchise has been done for decades in other countries (YOMIURI GIANTS, BAYER LEVERKAUSEN), and while various U.S. sporting events and stadiums have been re-named to include trademarks (FedEx Orange Bowl, Minute Maid Field, Winston Cup), our unscientific slovenly-conducted survey failed to reveal a major professional sports team in the U.S. with a pre-existing trademark in its name.
Unless you want to include the Discovery Channel Cycling Team.
Should we count car-racing teams?
Historical note: In 2001, the NBA prohibited FedEx from re-naming the team it just purchase, the Vancouver Grizzlies as the Memphis Express.
Parents’ note: The MetroStars actually administer my son’s AYSO soccer league. They have done a magnificent job and there has been the expected result that my son is a MetroStars fan. However, I’m not crazy about him becoming hyper-aware of a highly caffinated drink.
Depicted above, the logo from Red Bull’s other soccer team, RED BULL SALZBURG.