West Texas United Sockers News Release
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
MIDLAND, TX -- The Permian Basin’s new soccer club will be known as the West Texas United Sockers. General Manager Monty Hoppel made the announcement at a media conference at the Scharbauer Sports Complex, where the Sockers will begin play in May. The club also announced West Texas National Bank as the presenting sponsor.
“We wanted a name that would tie into the sport, which ‘Sockers’ clearly does,” Hoppel said. “But to go with the West Texas United name, we wanted something simple, short and classy.”
After announcing the birth of the franchise in September, a “name the team” contest was held, in conjunction with the Midland Reporter-Telegram. It turns out the contest will have two winners, as the name “Sockers” is actually a combination of two entries.
“The name ‘SockHounds’ was suggested, a direct tie-in to the RockHounds baseball club,” Hoppel said. “We also like Coyotes for a number of reasons, especially as it relates to a team logo and potential mascot. So, the name ‘Sockers’ is really a hybrid. It’s also unique, as no other minor or major league team is using the name.”
The winning entries were submitted by Barbara Crane of Midland (SockHounds) and Stephanie Clark (Coyotes) of Odessa. Each will receive a prize package from the team, including season tickets to the inaugural 2009 campaign.
In the team’s logo, also unveiled at today’s media gathering, the name Sockers is accompanied by the likeness of a coyote. In the very near future, the team will introduce a mascot, also in the form of a much friendlier appearing coyote.
“One of our priorities was to be able to incorporate a mascot which would be a caricature of an animal,” Hoppel said. “We’ve had such great success with (baseball mascots) Juice The Moose and Rocky RockHound, we think the mascot is a key element in the team’s identity, especially with the kids.”
“Coyotes are native to West Texas, and are really a great match for the game of soccer. In fact, a coyote would make a good soccer player; they’re fast, evasive, clever and can run for hours without tiring.”
The Sockers officially open their inaugural season in May under head coach Jesus Enriquez. The West Texas United club is owned by Midland RockHounds co-owners Miles Prentice and Bob Richmond, and will be staffed by the baseball club’s front office. The team is a member of the United Soccer Leagues and will compete in the USL’s Premier Development League (PDL), beginning in May of 2009 at Grande Communications Stadium.
West Texas National Bank has been named “presenting sponsor” for the West Texas United Sockers.
General Manager and co-owner Monty Hoppel made the announcement with West Texas National Bank President & CEO Keith Moore and Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Art Hobbs.
“We appreciate not only this business partnership, but the willingness of West Texas National Bank to play such a major role in what we think is going to be a great addition to our community,” Hoppel said.
“Someone who has been instrumental in this process is (West Texas National Bank retail branch manager)
Jared Richardson. He’s involved, as a coach, in the West Texas United youth program, and shares our vision of what soccer can bring to the Permian Basin.”
West Texas National Bank was chartered in 2000, the result of the merger of three independent banks. Headquartered in Midland, the bank’s corporate “roots” in the community date back to 1904.
In addition to being the Sockers’ “title” sponsor, the partnership with West Texas National Bank also includes (among other considerations):
- WTNB patches on the Sockers uniforms
- Sponsorship of Youth Jersey Night, May 8 (the Sockers’ official home opener)
- Sponsorship of a halftime contest at every home game
- Three hundred (300) tickets which WTNB will distribute to local charities
- A suite and video board commercial for each Sockers home game at Grande Communications Stadium