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Miami FC to be Renamed Fort Lauderdale Strikers Today

2011 February 17

Miami FC will hold a press conference today to officially rename the team to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. The new name may be one of the worst kept secrets ever as the web site and NASL officials have been calling the team the “Strikers” for several months. However, it was unclear what form of that name the team would have because the naming rights for “Fort Lauderdale Strikers” was already held. Evidently a deal has been struck because the team will officially be renamed Fort Lauderdale Strikers later today.

According to the NASL press release there will be numerous luminaries from local government and the Strikers players past and present at the event. The ceremony will be open to the public as the new club name and club colors will be revealed. The secondary ligature will also be displayed for the first time.

In January, NASL CEO Aaron Davidson told IMS that Rich Levy had been secured to design the new logo. Levy, of 343RLP+ creative Group, formerly served as the Creative Director for Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing.

“Rich has been hired to assist us in our efforts to relaunch the NASL brand in all respects,” explained Davidson. “He’s also helping us with our Fort Lauderdale Strikers relaunch.”

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers were originally launched with the old NASL from 1977-1983. They formed again in 1988-1994 playing under the American Soccer League and played under the USISL from 1994-1997.

The Miami FC Blues are owned by Traffic Sports USA and were founded in 2006, playing with the USL. In 2010 they played with the USSF D2 Pro League and moved the team to Lockhart Stadium, the home of the original Strikers.

Notable players who have previously played for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers are: Gordon Banks,  George Best, Ellias Figueroa, Ian Callaghan, and Ray Hudson, who also served as coach.

Miami FC have also had notable players spend time with their club including Romário, Zinho, Mario Rafael Rodríguez and Christian Gómez.

20 Responses
  1. Strikers Return permalink
    February 17, 2011

    NOW WE’RE TALKING!!!! Woooooo Hooooooo!!!!! It’s a new era for pro soccer in South Florida, ironically to be brought about by a reconnection to our iconic past! The announcement today is part of the 100 anniversary celebration of the City of Ft. Lauderdale, and hopefully will thus have all of our local media on hand to see it. THIS is how to kick things off and get the Strikers name back in the local community. But it needs to just be the starting point. Follow through Traffic, follow through, and we’ll prove the naysayers wrong by being one of the top attending lower division teams!

  2. smatthew permalink
    February 17, 2011

    Damn! $99 is one sweet deal for season tixs.

  3. Ultra permalink
    February 17, 2011

    Actually BQ the rights to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers name was never in doubt. Traffic bought the trademark(full rights, unlike what happened in Tampa), along with “Miami Strikers” and several other old NASL names, right after the TOA became the NASL in Fall 2009. What was in doubt was whether they would use it. For a while it was pretty much a lock that they were going to be the South Florida Strikers or Strikers FC. But after a few long months of convincing from fans, they saw the light and decided on Fort Lauderdale.

    The event this afternoon is going to be awesome! I can’t wait for the season!!

  4. February 17, 2011

    Hmmm, that is contrary to information I had been given. I’m not saying you are wrong. I am just confused why I had been told differently.

  5. yankiboy permalink
    February 17, 2011

    “Notable players who have previously played for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers are: Gordon Banks, George Best, Ellias Figueroa, Ian Callaghan, and Ray Hudson who also served as coach.”
    -BQ the Great

    “Previously”?!?! Interesting selection of words.

    BQ, Please do not start encourage the trend of inferring that the “new” brand X has anything to do with the old club brand X, unless it actually does:

    Soccer Sam already has the Rochester Deputy Mayor or whoever the wonderful elected official was at the press conference gushing at the mic about being so happy and grateful about Rochester “having our Lancers back!!!”

    Just because the club name is the same and the jersies feature the same colors–Carlos Metidieri, Bob DeLuca, Francisco Escos, Charlie Mitchell, Tommy Ord and Mike Stojanovic never played for Sam’s I-League club just like the guys you listed didn’t previously play with this new Lancers.

    Different organization. Not the same owners, even. ”

    Let me put it like another way:

    If I build a car that blows up when you hit the gas tank and decide to induldge in the nostalgia and name it a Pinto, is it really a Pinto?

    Enough of the Don Garber and some other folks love affair with the relaunched Cosmos. At least, they have Pele receiving a little check and Giorgio never missed about on an opportunity to tell you haw great he was and they were (in that order).

    I’m just saying, enough with the new ownership groups trying to sell me nostalgia.

    Especially when you don’t have any significant ties to the original franchise that died of years ago.

    At minmum, they had better be inviting Ray Hudson or Nene Cubillas to kick a ceremonial ball at midfield before the game or something–otherwise, it just looks weak.

    But hey, they did it in San Jose in MLS but when you name a team “the Clash” and Joe Strummer or Mick Jones ain’t anyplace to be found then you are not just shameless, you are absolutely clueless as well.

  6. yankiboy permalink
    February 17, 2011

    Of course, having written all of that, even with the look of agony on my face about the nostalgic grasping–I would be locking in my season tickets for me and my kid.

    I want to start a USLPRO team.

    Can I find any investors to help me relaunch the Baltimore Bays. I’ll provide the not so brilliant marketing ideas (like a night where we run promo featuring a $2 discount per ticket for anyone who wears any sort of apparel with a crab on it.

    You bring the ca$h.

  7. February 17, 2011

    You could always sell shirts with crabs on them for $20.00 and then allow them the $2.00 discount for wearing it. 😉

  8. yankiboy permalink
    February 17, 2011

    BQ: See–That’s what I am talking about. It is exactly that is the sort of “outside the box” thinking that US Soccer needs prosper in the 21st century.

    Oh yeah. And we need cheerleaders and loud rock and pop music blaring during games as well.

    (I learned that from listening to “Kick This” last Saturday).


  9. Strikers Return permalink
    February 17, 2011

    @smatthew – It certainly is, and it is the only reason I could afford to get season tickets for my entire family this year. The team is smart too because they’ve kept the deal in place through January and February. Now, starting with today’s announcement, they must step up the advertising of it!

    @Ultra – Unfortunately I can’t be there, and it’s killing me! I hope there is a good turnout!

    @yankiboy – Come on dude! Don’t rain on our parade! Nostalgia isn’t for everyone, I get that. But in an area where everyone north of the Dade/Broward line is considered part of the Miami metro area, but when it comes to sports teams, we’re completely ignored unless someone wants to raid our tax coffers for a stadium, the return of Broward’s only true pro sports team, one that in its hey day was extremely popular locally, is a big deal for us.

    To me the bottom line is this – as a kid, my dad took me to watch Ray, Nene, Mueller, Mauser, and so on and so forth. Those were happy times, and gave me my first taste of a sport I would grow to love all my life. Now I have the chance to do the exact same thing, in the same stadium, with the same team, but with my son. Can’t beat that. Everyone can dump all over Traffic, the NASL, the Strikers, nostalgia, whatever. But I’ll just be thankful for this opportunity to share with my son something that grew to be a passion with me, and I hope will now for him as well. Just can’t beat it my friend.

    BTW, you let me know when the Bays are up and running. I’ll run down to the local thrift shop, find something with a crab on it for a buck, and I’ll be looking for my discount ticket! LOL

  10. silly permalink
    February 17, 2011

    Hopefully for their sake people support the Strikers better than they did Miami FC. I’m not sure a name and color change will make people flood in to watch the same team they failed to support in the past.

    I hope I’m wrong and that they market the team and get some support. Today is a good start, but will not be enough.

  11. Strikers Return permalink
    February 17, 2011

    @silly – Marketing your team is always going to be a necessity. You have to reach your potential customers with any product you’re selling. The main plus in the rebrand is twofold. Number 1, you are connecting your team to a brand that still has tradition and recognition in the community. Everyone my age and older, and I’m not that old LOL, knows what you’re talking about when you say “Striker Liker.” Even a lot of the younger generation knows because they are soccer fans. The idiotic posts I’ve seen around the web suggesting that Lockhart was full of 80 year old New Yorkers back in the late 70s and early 80s is absurd.

    Number 2, Miami fans never supported Miami FC, whether they played in Dade, or at Lockhart. The team needed something that would target Broward and Palm Beach more specifically. Miami FC playing in Ft. Lauderdale at Lockhart Stadium is FAR less marketable than the return of t he Ft. Lauderdale Strikers playing in the NASL at Lockhart Stadium. Miami fans are bandwagon fans, sorry 305, but sometimes you just have to call them as you see them, so if the Strikers creates the kind of buzz it has the potential to, some Dade residents will come north to see what the fuss is all about as well.

  12. Soccer Boy permalink
    February 17, 2011

    Strikers? They Strikers will forever be a MN team, at least in my mind.

  13. Ultra permalink
    February 17, 2011


    It’s not really nostalgia so much as it is local tradition. I don’t think fans in Seattle, Vancouver and Portland are complaining that their successful D2 and now MLS teams have little if anything to do with the old NASL teams of the same names.

    The new Strikers may not have much in common organization wise as the old Strikers team(s), but I don’t think that matters. It’s not much different than some sports teams that have been in continuous operation for decades. For instance, the Miami Dolphins are twice removed from their original ownership, play in a different stadium, and are basically selling nostalgia because they haven’t won anything since 1972.

    The new Strikers will be in D2, not D1, but it’ll be at the same stadium as the old team, with the same name, and in a league with the same name. Good enough for me.

    @ BQ

    On the US Trademark Database they are listed as having rights to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers name, both for operating a team/organization AND selling merchandise, as of November 19, 2009.

    What the issue may have been is the use of the retro logo. I don’t know if/when they got the rights to that. They won’t be using the old logo but I imagine they would want to have the rights to use it in case they wanted to do some throwback merchandise etc.

  14. February 17, 2011

    Ultra is right, probably got his info straight from Davidson.

    Heard from Strikers front office that they have sold out a few sections already. It’s a good sign of things to come. Also that Tim Robbie will be one of the speakers which means he has given his blessing for the team name.

  15. Kenn permalink
    February 17, 2011

    You know what this means, right?


  16. meh permalink
    February 17, 2011

    Welcome back, Ft. Lauderdale Strikers. Traffic has been justly criticized for the way they have run Miami FC these past five years, but I will give Traffic credit for two things: they have stuck it out when quitting would have been so much easier, and they have proven that they can learn from their mistakes. Discovering that Ft. Lauderdale is a better pro soccer location than Miami (as has been demonstrated again and again these past three or four decades), and that the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers legacy is worth something, went, IMO, against their prejudices. But they learned. Now here’s hoping they do better and market the Strikers properly and put a winning team on the field and connect with the local community.

    Rowdies vs. Strikers should be fun for everyone this year, both for Fannies and Striker Likers. Get the old rivalry going again. And don’t be fooled by the FC Tampa Bay name; it is still the Rowdies. The t-shirt swindling trademark squatters in Texas will be bought out eventually, and we’ll have our Rowdies name back properly, but until then even if it isn’t 100% official it is still the Rowdies.

    Now go and make 2011 a success, guys!

  17. February 17, 2011

    I love the name (I thought of Strikers Return first, and how happy he probably was), I love the new logo, and I can’t wait for F.C. Edmonton to walk all over them.

  18. Strikers Return permalink
    February 17, 2011

    @Kenn – Finally Kenn, you’ve joined the fanboy club! Your membership card is in the mail! Go Strikers!

    @meh – Couldn’t agree more! Strikers vs. Rowdies is back, and I can’t wait for May 14th, it’s circled in Red, Yellow, and Black on my calendar! LOL

    @Daniel – Thanks for the kind words….and for throwing down the opening night gauntlet! I’m a happy man today, and my anxiousness for the season to start just went up another notch!

  19. February 26, 2011

    I love it! That comment which someone wrote about the old Strikers filling Lockhart with 80 year old New Yorkers was really dumb. I’m here to say this native South Floridian– now living in Virginia– went to as many Strikers games back in the day, as a High School kid could afford. I LOVED watching Banks and Best and Muller ‘Der Bomber’ and Hudson and Cubillas and Figueroa and all those guys. I fell in love with the game because of the old Strikers, and as someone who was in the stands in those days, I can attest that it was NOT just 80 year old New Yorkers. Not by a long shot. So what if Traffic Sports is counting on nostalgia to sell tickets? ‘Works for me.’ It will be a real kick to see the old jerseys on the pitch again, and you can bet that I’ll be writing about the new Strikers on my ‘Jedi Soccer’ blogsite, at Well done, Traffic Sports! You picked the right name. Now lets WIN!

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