I'll be honest, up until this question came in I hadn't given it any thought at all. Thursday night some discussion had taken place as to what superheroes the Houston Dash ladies would be, but this is completely different. If I had to place DaMarcus Beasley with one specific spirit animal it would be the cougar.
Cougars are stealthy, strong, as well as enhanced sight and hearing. Beasley's vision is hard to miss, he is stealthy quick still, and he isn't afraid to take on players stronger than him. Cougars tend to be quiet, picking and choosing their moments to strike. That sounds about like DMB, doesn't it?
@dynamotheory what would be your marketing strategy for Dynamo/Dash? #DTQA
— Francisco Rios (@cisco0602) August 1, 2014
An interesting question, but right now I wouldn't change much with the Houston Dynamo marketing. Once the offseason hits and the expected wholesale changes begin I'd follow in the Houston Rockets footsteps. I expect one or two different designated players coming in, hopefully one will be a high-end striker or forward. If so, I'd let him become the secondary face of the franchise's marketing. You need some form of a leader to pass the torch to, and it needs to be someone the fans connect with constantly.
As for the Houston Dash, I would push Ella Masar, Brittany Bock and Arianna Romero to become to faces of the franchise. They would be my three focuses going forward, and the ones I'd highly promote in the offseason in marketing materials and videos. I'd encourage Ella and Erin to continue their Youtube show into the offseason and incorporate more Dynamo stuff as well for some cross-promotion (and to increase exposure). I'd encourage Ari to become a bigger part of publicity. She hits the Latino market, but also she is an incredible player.
Lastly, I'd grab my media department and push them to put out two to three high intensity videos for the offseason, focusing on the players listed above. I'd also tell the local paper to shove it, and start working side by side with the local blogs and CSN Houston heavily. I'd have those become my new outlets for news, rumors, and coverage. Oh, and I'd grab Brener and tell him to put himself out there as a fan more consistently. Not just before matches, but at halftime to give his comments on the match when there on CSN Houston. I'd want him to basically become the face of the ownership, trying to quietly take that away from Oscar who frankly shouldn't be that face.
@dynamotheory given his poor play of late how long does Bruin have before the look at other options? #DTQA
— Colin McGonagle (@3rdCstTexFan) August 1, 2014
This will be short and sweet. He has until the offseason to show other teams he belongs there, because he won't be here. I know Dominic Kinnear has faith in him, but I also have to believe Dom understands Will Bruin isn't cutting it as the leader he wants to him to become. Bruin is a good guy with a good heart, but it is time for him to get his bigger paycheck. That should be with another club in lieu of a vocal and public leader forward/striker the Houston Dynamo can count on week in and week out.
@dynamotheory despite all the team & FO have done over the years, why aren't we still a 'supportive' fan base? #DTQA
— Michael D Morales (@big_tx_morales) August 1, 2014
Your question isn't really the right question. The reality is the Houston sports market in general has always been heavily bandwagon, and extremely fickle. We've been subjected to so many professional sports teams giving us the biggest heartaches ever that we just expect it to happen with every team, even successful ones like the Houston Dynamo.
Now that soccer is becoming more mainstream, this team needs championships. It needs to show this sports market it isn't being passed by, and that it isn't going to be the same old Houston sports team. The Dynamo need to show they are the next level of sports teams, and that they should be followed. Right now, the team isn't showing that, and you see it in the attendance.
Oh, and can we get rid of mid-week games? Terrible attendance draws, and it kills any attendance momentum you get as the home team. More Saturday games please!
@dynamotheory we've talked abt a Dynamo 'core' going in to next season. Is there a 'core' for the Dash? #DTQA
— Michael D Morales (@big_tx_morales) August 1, 2014
There is a Houston Dash "core" of players, and I mentioned my first three in the marketing question above. I would also add Bianca Henninger to that list as she is the future goalkeeper for this team and is a starting caliber backup to Erin McLeod. I'd also add Osinache Ohale who has been really solid, and should have a long-term place on the roster at CB. Whitney Engen and Meghan Klingenberg, if you can keep them, should definitely be part of the long-term vision for this team. Kealia Ohai is my final core player. Sure, there's plenty of others who could be, but if I'm being honest and this were my team, I'd have to make tough choices.
You'd have 7-8 players in your core, and the rest would be available to move. These moves could be for draft picks, young prospects, or just better players. Look at Seattle if you want a blueprint in how to improve a team. Look at Portland if you want to see how to build a team. Confused? Portland is built well, and Seattle's Harvey is great at taking pieces and improving them. That's how you do it in NWSL.
As always, thanks for all of the questions, and for taking the time to engage with us on Twitter and Facebook.