As FC Cincinnati prepares to make the leap into Major League Soccer, the team tonight unveiled its new brand identity to a crowd of fans at the Woodward Theater in Over-the-Rhine.
The designs by Cincinnati-based Interbrand, created after a three-month process that involved fan feedback, retain the most familiar parts of the team's look — the lion, the crown, the blue and orange, and of course, the team's name — but tweaked and sharpened. Both the blue and orange used in the logos are brighter now, and are underscored with secondary colors — a darker blue, white and grey.
The crest represents Cincinnati's German heritage, the team says. The seven points on the winged lion's mane represent the seven hills of the city and the three feathers on its wing represent the team's three years from inception to becoming an MLS team. The crown present on the lion and on the "C" in Cincinnati in the wordmark version of the logo are references to Cincinnati's nickname the Queen City.
“Developing our MLS identity has been an intensive, yet gratifying process, that has been so well-worth the end result we’re presenting today," FCC President and General Manager Jeff Berding said. "We’re incredibly proud of the development process and what we present today as our final product. We firmly believe these new marks and brand system are a perfect representation of our club as we enter Major League Soccer. We introduced local, organic elements to refresh our look, yet kept specific iconography from our early years to retain familiarity. We cannot wait to take the field in 2019 bearing the FC Cincinnati – Football Club Cincinnati – crest on our chests.”
FCC, which just finished up its third season in the United Soccer League, won an MLS franchise spot in May, after the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County committed to a $34 million infrastructure package and the team settled on a location in the West End for a dedicated soccer stadium. The team will break ground on that stadium next month, which is expected to be completed in time for the 2021 season. The team set attendance records in the USL, averaging almost 26,000 fans this year.
The team has also come up big in the merchandise game, selling almost $2 million in gear last year. Expect that number to go up as fans grab swag with the team's new logos. FCC faithful got their first chance tonight, lining up after the unveiling at the Woodward to get first crack at t-shirts and other merchandise.
Check out the team's new branding below.