Houston Dynamo is a soccer club that competes in the Western Conference of Major League Soccer. The franchise was established on December 15, 2005, when the San Jose Earthquakes were relocated from San Jose, California, to Houston, Texas. The main reason for relocation was the absence of a soccer-specific stadium.
On November 6, 2005, MLS Commissioner Don Garber permitted Anschutz Entertainment Group to remove the Texas franchise. But he insisted on retaining the previous team’s name, colors, logo, and history in the new hometown. The owners had to agree on a compromise. So the franchise, including coaches, staff, and San Jose Earthquakes players, moved to Houston.
Before starting the 2006 season, Anschutz Entertainment Group held an on-line survey “Name the Team Sweepstakes” for the fans to provide suggestions for the name. “Houston 1836” was an obvious winner, having received more ballots than Mustangs, Spanish, Generals, Eagles, Buffaloes, and Apollos. According to AEG, the 1836 name referred to the year that Houston was founded (similar to the German TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and Hannover 96).
However, it appeared that the chosen name had a double meaning since 1836 and the year of Texan Independence from Mexico. At the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution, the Texan army was led by General Sam Houston. So, the Houston 1836 logo featured his silhouette. Fans of Hispanic descent found this decision offensive.
To avoid political protests and to lose the Spanish-speaking fan club, the owners announced the team re-branding. The new name “Houston Dynamo” was introduced on March 7, 2006. It was a kind of allusion to Houston soccer history: the original Houston Dynamos played in the United Soccer League in 1984 and 1985.
The word “dynamo” (a shortening for a dynamo-electric machine) refers to the city’s energy-based industrial economy. It symbolizes constant movement, pace, and speed. Besides, it pays homage to Dynamo teams from Eastern European and the former Soviet Union countries.
On February 26, 2008, Anschutz Entertainment Group announced the partial sale of the franchise rights. At the moment, it holds 50% of ownership along with Golden Boy Promotions and Brener International Group. 50% of ownership belongs to Jake Silverstein, James Harden, and Ben Guill. The rest 50% is equally divided between Oscar De La Hoya and Gabriel Brener (each with 25% ownership).
Meaning and History
After the San Jose Earthquakes soccer club moved to Texas and became known as Houston 1836, it unveiled a new five-pointed star logo. Yet the re-branding made significant alterations to the emblem. Only the official colors – orange, navy blue, white, and blue (colors of the flag of Houston) – remained unchanged on the Houston Dynamo logo.
2006 – present
Being renamed to Houston Dynamo, the club got a new logo. The current Houston Dynamo logo looks like a triangular shield with a stylized top and a triple outline. The capitalized white-scripted “Dynamo” wordmark crosses the Houston Dynamo logo in the middle. Letters “D,” “A,” and “O” are decorated with serifs. Light shadows, combined with contrasting edging, create a 3D effect. An arched orange line underlines the lettering. A half-shaded soccer ball breaks the upper line with pointed star-like pentagons.
The upper part of the shield contains the “Houston” wordmark in the chopped font. Only “H” and “N” have serifs, the other letters are grotesque. The bottom part of the Houston Dynamo logo features a white star inherited from Houston 1836 logo as a tribute to the state flag of Texas. It is placed inside a bright orange sun, which emits the rays in all directions.