David Beckham: Please Make Your Soccer Team as Miami as Hell

Meet your new Miami Beckham United mascots – hopefully.
Meet your new Miami Beckham United mascots – hopefully.
Illustration by Alvaro Diaz-Rubio

Close your eyes and consider the "Miami aesthetic." You're probably seeing a crazy screensaver-like melange of palm trees and flamingos floating by in a sea of unapologetically bright pastels. Perhaps the pink and teal of the Miami Vice logo are prominent. The geographic whimsy of art deco and Miami modern architecture pop up. Lifeguard stands, neon lights, speedboats figure in. 

Face it: There's a very specific visual vocabulary that people, both local and visitors, consider to be uniquely Miami. 

Yet, if you look at our sports team, not a single one embraces that visual vocab in its branding. Sure, the Miami Hurricanes and Dolphins have an excuse. They existed before this particular aesthetic really cemented itself in the '80s, but the Heat, Marlins, and Panthers were branded in a way as to almost stay as far away from that 305 image as possible.  

Which is sort of odd. Sports teams almost always tend to take visual and branding cues from a city's stereotypical image. Most Texas sports teams give nods to the state's Wild West image. (The Cowboys, Rangers, and Spurs among them.) Colorado teams' branding points to the state's mountainous and outdoorsy nature. With one notable exception, all of D.C.'s teams wrap themselves in the red, white, and blue glory of the nation's capital. 

Miami fans also seem particularly warm to the idea of a team that is branded a bit more uniquely, if not stereotypically, Miami. When Heat owner Micky Arison tweeted out a mockup of his team's uniforms rendered in pink and teal, people went bonkers. Likewise, the Heat's occasional pink and orange throwback homage to the Miami Floridians of the old ABA is always a favorite. 

David Beckham and his co-owners have a chance to finally go full-on Miami with their team. Everything from the team's name to the colors is still to be determined. We encourage Beckham to go full-tilt Miami. We're thinking nods to art deco architecture in the shield, an official team chant by Pitbull, and a stadium lit up in neon. 

In fact, we have a few ideas for possible shields: 

David Beckham: Please Make Your Soccer Team as Miami as Hell (3)
Illustration by Alvaro Diaz-Rubio

Think pink.
There isn't a single major league sports team in the United States that uses pink as one of its team colors. There's likely some outdated gender politics at play, but this also presents Beckham's team with a unique branding opportunity that would set the team apart from everyone else. Using pink as a team color would not only be a first, but it's also a color that Miami certainly loves. Our sunsets are pink. Miami Beach sidewalks are pink. The logo (and, often, the Versace suits) of Miami Vice prominently featured pink. Heck, the original home of the Miami Heat and Florida Panthers, the Miami Arena, was painted in an unapologetic hue of faint pink. 

Though our illustrations drive that point home, you don't need to go too far. Just use it as an accent color. A little could go a long way. 

David Beckham: Please Make Your Soccer Team as Miami as Hell
Illustration by Alvaro Diaz-Rubio

Don't you dare name the team Florida. In fact, why not try 305? 
The MLS has no conventional team-naming strategy. Some teams use the American convention of "Region Name + Nickname." Others use more European and South American conventions like Orlando City S.C. and Real Salt Lake. 

Why not take the opportunity to throw all naming convention to the wind? What if the team used something like the city's official nickname ("Magic City FC"), the county name ("Miami-Dade United"), or even the county's unofficial nickname and area code? "Real 305" has a particularly nice ring to it. 

Whatever Beckham's does, he better not try branding the team as either "Florida" or "South Florida." Both the Florida Panthers and the former Florida Marlins tried this. The reasoning was that they wanted to appeal to all of the tricounty area, if not beyond. But it's the teams that have always been unapologetically Miami — the Dolphins and Heat — that have more impassioned fan bases across the region. 

But if you had to go with a nickname...
There's a strong argument to make that the team should stick to the European convention. All the new MLS teams are doing it, and Miami already has a fanbase knowledgeable about international soccer built in. Despite Beckham's English heritage, there's also an argument to make that the team should go with something Spanish like "Deportes Miami" or "Atlético Miami." We'd be down with that. 

The only mascot option: A flamingo.
"Oh, how can a delicate little tropical bird proudly represent a big, bad sports team?" you might ask. Excuse us, but Sebastian the Ibis needs to have a word with you. He'd also appreciate a feathered friend. 

Flamingos have a longtime association with Miami. They're not native to the area, but Hialeah Park Racing and Casino is now one of the few places in the state where flamingos breed naturally, and the flock's popularity is an iconic symbol of the locale.

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