Cleveland team plans to get $1M by use of ForcePublished August 26, 2002
The Cleveland Crunch believes it's found a way to make a million dollars — by changing its name.
The Major Indoor Soccer League team has disposed of the Crunch moniker and opted to embrace the Force — the name of the Cleveland team for a decade during MISL's first incarnation, which ran from 1978 to 1992.
"The Cleveland Force still has an unbelievably strong brand identity," said Paul Garofolo, president of the team and general manager of the original Force.
One example: Garofolo visited his dentist earlier this month. The lady cleaning his teeth asked, "When does the Force season start?" — even though the team was the Crunch at the time.
Garofolo estimates the name change, which took effect last Friday, will increase season-ticket, sponsorship and merchandise sales by the low seven figures in the first year alone, a 30 percent to 40 percent jump.
The cost of becoming the Force — including changing uniforms, souvenirs and the like — is about $100,000. Rights to the Force name were held by Bart Wolstein, the franchise's original owner. Wolstein turned the name over at no charge.
Team investors confirmed the switch should be made during the All-Star Game earlier this year in Cleveland, when the Cleveland Force Legends played the MISL Legends.
"We probably sold an extra 5,000 tickets because of the Force," Garofolo said. The game itself attracted 13,216 at Gund Arena.
Why didn't they change the name earlier? "Our feeling was we wanted to get things organized in the sport [first]," said Garofolo, who bought the then-Crunch in 1999 with Dick Dietrich and Michael Gibbons.
Back in the 1970s and '80s, the Force averaged 15,000 a game in the Richfield Coliseum (the new team averages 6,000 in 12,493-capacity CSU Convocation Center). Its 7,000-strong season-ticket base was more than Cleveland's Indians and Cavaliers combined during some years in the 1980s, Garofolo said. He added the team made more than a $1 million profit for six years in a row.
Coast To Coast
Events Up For Bid
For The Record
No Topic Name
Baseball talks resume, but are limited to non-core issues
Former golfer Feherty's all over the media, and he's loving it
Labor negotiators get back to core issues
Labor talks turn ugly
Late night, little progress
League says it will discipline owners
League, union bracing for final offers
League, union sign 'historic' labor deal
League, union talk steroids and other non-core issues
MLB looks for union response today
New issue develops; Selig talks with owners
On deck, baseball's most crucial issues
Putting devices banking on sound of golf
Rental device offers new views to fans
Revenue sharing, payroll tax define talks
Selig joining talks in New York
Selig sees progress in talks
Sources: ESPN considers an X tour
Sources: Union warns players of possible Selig letter
South rises again — in support of Redskins
Talks end with no discussion of biggest issues
Talks start with MLB giving $30 million
Union nearing response on payroll tax, revenue sharing
Union outlines position in letter to agents, players
Union to respond on payroll tax, revenue sharing -- but not today
Walking line between cool, conventional
WTA Tour to launch Commercial division
'Road' to Open would add TV muscle
2002 ATP U.S./Grand Slam tournament directory
2002 Sanex WTA Tour U.S./Grand Slam tournament directory
Galaxy of 'megastars' fails to lift women's tour
Led by Hewitt, men's stars are as bright as ever
Rising Roddick cashes in even without major
Tennis courting irrelevance
Tennis Sports Poll
The sponsors love James Blake, and maybe we all should, too
Venus envy: Serena wants deal like sister's
What they're wearing (and hitting) at the U.S. Open
This Weeks Issue
Aggressive investor in Rawlings wants right to call meetings
Arbitrator to weigh bonus question
Basché to replace Millman as Millsport CEO
Bull Run again extends $90M credit facility
CART to buy Miami co-promoter
Cleveland team plans to get $1M by use of Force
Clothing retailer Aeropostale puts its stamp on college teams
Comfy chair: Multimillion-dollar gift endows Vandy football coach position
Financial guarantee key to becoming U.S. candidate
Fox NFL survey gets Sprint name
Mandalay gets $20M to buy teams
NBA TV revamping; live telecasts delayed
Raleighs ESA to get RBC name in 20-year, $80M agreement
Selig's task: Know clubs' 'break points'
Summerall gets slice of Football Network, to do voice-overs and public appearances
Team values at stake in talks