NYCFC Seeking One Badge to Rule Them All

NYCFC engages soccer fans with an official club crest-designing challenge
by Nick Chavez   |   Friday, February 14, 2014

Blue City – column on New York City FC (NYCFC) & the NYC area soccer scene.

On Feb. 4, New York City FC launched its “Badge of Badges” campaign, a novel way for fans in the New York City area and around the world to be a part of the creation of what is perhaps the most iconic and passion-inspiring representation of any football club, its official badge (or crest).

NYCFC has also fashioned a “Badge Configurator” on its website (as well as a lighter mobile version) in order to make it easier for fans to create their very own badge, or to upload a badge they made elsewhere to submit to the club.

“New York City FC will be a Club for its fans, which is why they should have a hand in creating its identity,” NYCFC CEO Ferran Soriano said. “We want the badge to be an authentic representation of New York City’s spirit and personality. This design tool will enable fans throughout New York City and the world, to send in their concepts and to be part of the creation of New York City FC.”

The campaign is meant to be a tribute to New York City FC’s founding supporters of the club, whose respective badges will be included as separate pixels that will make up the “Badge of Badges” master image of NYCFC’s official badge.

This “Badge of Badges” mosaic will be available for everyone to view and zoom in to see all the respective fan badges that make up the nascent club’s official crest. It will also be displayed at NYCFC’s permanent facilities for all employees of the club and its visitors to see. Edelman PR (NYCFC’s PR agency) even let on that, “All submissions will be provided to the official badge designer, and also included in a grand badge mosaic to be revealed in March.” So, it seems very possible that fans can even directly influence the design of the official badge.

When can we expect to see the long-awaited finished product?

Dave Martinez of Empire of Soccer reported, “This is the first part of a 3-step process for the club’s shield. After fan submissions, NYCFC will reveal 2 potential shields for fans to vote for based on designs by a hired outside part. Those will likely be revealed in the final week of February. On March 10, the entire campaign comes to a head with the shield unveiling and the presentation of the ‘badge of badges’ mosaic.”

If so, then the world can expect to see what image NYCFC has finally selected as its official crest on March 10, and not a moment too soon for eager the team’s supporters.

In any case, the campaign seems to have been a success thus far, engaging the NYC-area online community and the soccer community alike. A number of fans, local businesses and organizations, government agencies, and soccer journalists have already submitted their crests [including myself, with a lot of help from the talented artist Travis Cataldo who did all of the artwork bringing my crest concept to life (see below)], and there seems to be a lot of enthusiasm for the campaign, in general, for everyone involved hoping to be included in something historic, with what could eventually become Major League Soccer’s biggest club.

“As a former player, I know the pride an athlete feels when wearing the badge of their club,” NYCFC’s first ever manager Jason Kreis remarked. “In this case, I feel it will be all the more special having had the fans participate in it in such a meaningful way.”

Indeed, the badge, crest or shield (whichever your preference) of a soccer club is sacred to its supporters, representing in 1 image all the history and passion shared by a club and its supporters, as well as its present circumstances and hopes for the future. If NYCFC is going to be a great and successful club, then the “founding fans” have a rare chance to be part of history, and can always look back at their early involvement with real pride, and “something to tell the grandkids,” if you will.

As NYCFC continues to court the New York City community and encourages it to become part of the club, they have a big decision ahead of them. Choosing a crest that truly resonates with the NYC metro-area soccer fans could be crucial in building momentum and supporter loyalty with the club in the almost year-long wait till NYCFC actually starts playing.

It appears that most potential supporters would be highly critical of a badge that is too “Manchester City,” as the fans of the great city of New York feel that they deserve a club with a unique, homegrown identity. Too much “Citeh” flavor will most likely be taken as a sign of disrespect from NYCFC and its Manchester City ownership group, and can potentially turn off supporters as a sign of things to come from the club’s foreign majority owners.

On the other hand, there’s a thin line between making something “New York,” and making it the same old “run-of-the-mill” Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building-laden images that have been done again and again. There has to be a certain classy style to the crest. One that combines the modern with the historic, creating an image of optimism and ambition, while also exhibiting pride in the considerable history and global relevance of the world’s most iconic city. 

Nick CHAVEZ

Nationality:
USA
College:
SCSU
Club Domestic:
NYCFC
Club Foreign:
Real Madrid CF
Spent most of 2012 in Madrid, Spain and his father's native Costa Rica in what was a pilgrimage of fútbol and a mission to learn Spanish. Now, this proud American Outlaw is home in the CT/NYC area to report on New York City FC and promote MLS/US Soccer.
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