Roasso Kumamoto evolved out of the merger of several Kumamoto-area teams during the late 1990s. Though the J.League's success caused many people in the prefecture to begin considering the development of a local professional team, it took a while before the foundation stabilised. Between 1999 and 2004, the team began to coalesce under the French-inspired moniker "Alouette Kumamoto", and played in uniforms that seemed to be modeled on France's Les Bleus. However, after some discouraging results in the early 00s, team officials decided to pool the resources of all major clubs in Kumamoto City, make major changes and begin the quest for a J.League spot in earnest.
In 2004, the team established an independent corporation named Rosso Kumamoto, and apart from the addition of an "a" in the word Roasso (because the word "Rosso" had already been trademarked), the team would retain this form until it achieved J2 status, in 2008. Kumamoto is home to many horse breeding farms, and therefore it was not hard to choose an appropriate mascot. The bright red colour scheme and the team's horse-emblazoned emblem have earned the team the nickname "The Scarlet Stallions".