NSC Minnesota Stars: Cool Name Opportunity Missed

NSC Minnesota Stars logo

So Minnestota’s new professional team, to play in the USSF Division 2, will be called the NSC Minnesota Stars, playing at NSC Stadium. NSC stands for the National Sports Center, the owners and operators of the club, who run what is billed as “the world’s largest amateur sports and meeting facility.”

According to the excellent Inside Minnesota Soccer, “North Star FC” was actually the most popular choice in a voting contest, and was preferred by the club, but “because of a myriad of trademark issues that could have been an issue in the future, the organization decided to go with one of the other favorite choices in NSC Minnesota.”

Shame. As IMS goes on to explain, “The NSC logo itself has a star in it representing the North Star which is the Minnesota State nickname. The North Star State” evolved from the State Motto L’Etoile du Nord or “Star of the North.”

That would have been a unique, interesting, locally grounded name. NSC Minnesota Stars is, despite attempting to keep some of that evocation, about as bland as it comes.

Perhaps the club are hoping they will become known as the “North Stars” if fans stick to a preference for that, as Kenn Tomasch says it was mentioned at the press conference that “we hope an organic nickname will arise”. Sounds a bit vague though.

As for the logo, I like the star. I presume the two stripes are supposed to represent the twin cities? Yes? No?  The surrounding shield and fonts…meh. Which isn’t much of a design critique, but really…meh.

We do hear that some fans are pushing to have the north end stand at NSC Stadium named as “du Nord”. We fully endorse this idea to keep the tie in to the North Star theme going, and not just because we love sharing a beer with the actual du Nord.

Your thoughts on the name and logo?

15 thoughts on “NSC Minnesota Stars: Cool Name Opportunity Missed

  1. Bobby

    “Star of the North” would’ve been an awesome name.

    The shield reminds me of Arsenal, like so many other new ones (see: Melbourne Victory) do.

  2. KT

    The opportunity was only “missed” in my mind by them opting not to put themselves further behind the financial 8-ball by wrangling with the trademark issues or paying an exorbitant amount to use something related to North Stars.

    See what the FC Tampa Bay We Can’t Put This On A T-Shirt But We’re Really The Rowdies are going through right now.

  3. Tom Dunmore Post author

    KT – it’s probably the case that they don’t have the resources to wrangle over the legalities of the name. I meant opportunity missed in a neutral sense, not suggesting they necessarily could or should have done more. Just a shame, as I said.

    The Tampa thing, now that seems like a real mess.

  4. ursus arctos

    Tom, I admire your ability to compartmentalize.

    I just can’t get past the National Security Council.

  5. Super Rookie

    NSC Minnesota is a great name. It allows the brand of the NSC go beyond the state border and continue to make the tournaments and infrastructure of the facility grow even more (NSC is home to some of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the country).

    As for taking on the Stars, it is just a branding thing.

    The website is: NSC Minnesota
    The official name is: NSC Minnesota

    For what it is worth, I like the logo.

  6. JimiV

    Not a fan of the ownership taking top billing on a team logo, or name for that matter. As for the Minnesota Stars, didn’t the NHL North Stars use that name for their final season in Minnesota?

    Maybe something original would have been nicer.

  7. ursus arctos

    Not quite.

    For their final season in Minnesota, the team dropped their traditional “N” logo for the new “Stars” crest that they would use in Dallas, as well as changing their primary jerseys from green to black, but they were still the North Stars.

  8. JL Murtaugh

    No, this isn’t very good. There is some space to work with NSC Minnesota, but the execution is awful.

    Note to would-be logo designers: close photoshop and use a vector-based program. Filters are for shit.

  9. Pingback: Edmonton’s Back…But Can They Match The Aviators? | Pitch Invasion

  10. Pingback: The Sweeper: In Defense of Mascots | Pitch Invasion