If there are any power issues at Robertson Stadium on Saturday, Dynamo fans will be prepared thanks to a creative promotion from their front office and jersey sponsor.
Twice the lights at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., went out during the match, twice delaying play for a total of over 40 minutes. Combine the power problems with what some viewed as a dubiously disallowed goal and most could understand if the Dynamo were more than little upset when the Galaxy advanced to the MLS Cup final. After the match, several Dynamo players called the outages "unprofessional" and head coach Dominic Kinnear said the delays affected Houston's momentum.
The power issues were eventually blamed on two significant power dips in Southern California Edison Industrial grid in which the Home Depot Center sits. Dynamo fans at the match made the best of the situation starting "Amigo Energy!" chants as they waited for the power to return. Amigo Energy is a commercial and residential electrical provider in Texas and the jersey sponsor for the Dynamo since August 2007.
Months after the now infamous night in Carson, the 2010 MLS schedule was announced and Dynamo fans immediately pointed to a week three matchup against the Galaxy. It would be an opportunity for the Dynamo to get some revenge and maybe finally wash the bad memories from the previous November away. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the Houston Dynamo front office saw the second home match of the season as a chance to have some fun with unfortunate events from the conference final.
The Dynamo announced the match against the Galaxy would be the "Light Outs L.A. Rematch" with fans in attendance receiving a mini-flashlight, just in case the lights went out. The promotion has received a great reaction from Houston fans and from around MLS in general. Goal.com asked Rocky Harris, the Senior Vice President of Marketing for the Dynamo about the fans chanting of Amigo Energy and how the flashlight promotion came about.
Goal.com: What was your reaction to Dynamo fans at the Home Depot Center chanting "Amigo Energy" during the power outages?
Rocky Harris: I was thrilled. This just proves the power of our brand. Not only have our fans become familiar with associating our team to the company on the front of our jersey, but now they also know that they are an electricity company that they can count on. When the fans began chanting, they were mocking the electricity issues in Carson while displaying their confidence in Amigo Energy. As a sponsor of a company, you want fans of the team to be evangelists for your brand; our fans proved that they will promote our sponsors because of their loyalty to our team.
Goal.com: What was the organizations thought process behind the flashlight promotion?
Harris: Our fans still have a sour taste in their mouth from last year's Western Conference final in Los Angeles. The lights went out on two separate occasions and it impacted our momentum. We ended up losing the game in extra time. Instead of focusing on the negative, we decided to have a little fun with a serious situation by creating the "Lights Out L.A. Rematch" with a mini flashlight for the giveaway. We knew we had something special when Amigo Energy, our jersey sponsor and popular electricity company in Texas, jumped on board to be the title partner on the game and provide the flashlights with their logo on one side and our logo on the other. It is a perfect fit.
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