San Jose Earthquakes is a member of the Western Conference of Major League Soccer and the first professional football club in San Jose. Its roots back to 1974 when the North American Soccer League made a franchise deal with the Silicon Valley capital. At that time, it was a little-known town.
The franchise could go to San Francisco, but it was bought by businessman Milan Mandaric an immigrant from Yugoslavia and manager of Lika Corporation. The League Commissioner Phil Woosnam and president Lamar Hunt made a trade-off upon one condition: the new team of the Bay Area NASL shall be named after San Francisco. In their opinion, San Jose was not so prestigious to mention it.
The local newspaper San Jose Mercury News financed the naming bidding. The readers had sent their versions, and general manager Dick Berg approved the name Earthquake. This name was socially criticized as the town was located near the San Andreas seismically active fault.
On the 16th of January, 1974, Mandaric announced the San Jose Earthquakes football club’s creation. Still, the NASL officials refused to accept it to the league and insisted on replacing “San Jose” with “San Francisco.” The issue was resolved on the 8th of February, 1974. The team managers made compelling arguments and managed to get approval for representing San Jose.
In 1983 the club was renamed “Golden Bay Earthquakes.” Having played some matches within Major Indoor Soccer League and NASL, it got its previous name again. This happened on the 27th of October, 1984, after the main league had broken up. A year later, the franchise joined the Western Soccer Alliance, but in 1988 WSA wound up and left the sport dom for some time.
The team was revived on the 15th of June, 1994, under the name San Jose Clash (upon the decision of Nike Company) and joined MLS. Anschutz Entertainment Group Corporation owned it. In 2000 “Clash” was replaced with “Earthquakes.” In 2005 AEG announced its moving to Houston due to its failure to reconstruct the stadium. The players and coaches moved to the State of Texas and founded “Houston Dynamo.” The name, logos, colors, and the history of the original club were left in San-Jose.
Lewis N. Wolff, an investor of Oakland Athletics, continued this legacy. In 2007 it received the IPR for the franchise and renewed its MLS membership. Lewis also owned Earthquakes Soccer, LLC.
Meaning and History
The original 1995 San Jose logo represented a stylish black-and-red scorpion with the word “Clash” in white. In 2000 it was replaced with a triangular shield. Before this, when the team had been an NASL member, the word “Earthquakes” occupied most of the San Jose Earthquakes logo. A diagonal line was heading down from the capital letter “Q,” symbolizing a crack that splits the ball into two pieces.
1996 – 1999
2000 – 2005
After the rebranding, San Jose Clash club was renamed San Jose Earthquakes, and its logo was updated. It represented a reversed triangular shield with snipped upper corners. The official color scheme dominated there: it combined black and blue-enriched with a white-and-silver scheme.
A soccer ball was drawn in the lower part with splashes of light in its hex faces. It irradiated bent rays, which symbolize the rising sun. The logo had a dark background, and the rest of the elements are light. The upper part of the shield represented the words “San Jose” and the lower one – “Earthquakes.”
2005 – 2007
In the new version of the San Jose Earthquakes logo, the color scheme was updated only. The pale-blue hue was darkened, and the saturated black color was diluted. The rest of the details remained the same. The three-sided shield represented the largest districts of the San Francisco Bay Area: Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose.
The ball on the logo symbolized the sun used in the city emblems. All words were printed in an artistic font: the letters had short sharp serifs and symmetric irregular edges. A curved line was drawn across the word “Earthquakes,” which symbolized a seismic wave.
2008 – 2013
In 2008 the team got a new logo. It was similar to the two first ones, but with slight detail changes. The background was made bright blue, and the ball had some splashes of the same color. The decorative shield projections were changed. The words “San Jose” were enriched with smooth curves.
The developers experimented with the outer lines of the San Jose Earthquakes logo and made them black-and-white. The wide outline around “Earthquakes” and the line which symbolized a seismogram was removed. The team name was made white so that it would contrast with the foreground.
2014 – present
In 2014 the club made a rebranding which had been prepared for two years. A fiction design studio from Portland added some elements from the past to the San Jose Earthquakes logo: the number “1974” (year of founding the NASL franchise) and red color (as on the first logo). The logo was presented on the 30th of January as part of celebrating the San Jose Earthquakes 40th anniversary.
Most of the logo is occupied with a triangular shield with a black-and-white edging. A ball that symbolizes an orbit was drawn in the middle. Six blue geometrical figures are located above to the right. According to the designers’ concept, they should symbolize dislocated tectonic plates.