With New Logo, NYCFC Starts Spreading Its Brand

NYCFC unveils its official badge and promptly introduces it to the NYC populous
by Nick Chavez   |   Thursday, March 27, 2014

Blue City – column on New York City FC (NYCFC) & the NYC area soccer scene.NEW YORK CITY – New York City FC finally unveiled its official badge as voted by over 100,000 fans at a gala event on Thursday, March 20, in the spacious upstairs level of the Adidas store in the SoHo section of Manhattan.

The occasion was stylishly prepared and better resembled a studio art show than a sports press event, with the walls lined with portraits of different crest ideas, some fan submitted badges, as well as images of some of Rafael Esquer’s notes and inspirations that helped him and his team develop New York City FC’s newly adopted icon.

NYCFC’s official crest-launching event was very celebratory in mood, with the likes of Sporting Director Claudio Reyna, Chief Business Officer Tim Pernetti and badge designer Rafael Esquer glowingly socializing with the invited guests. Even NYCFC head coach Jason Kreis, true to his renowned dedication, flew from England just to make the event and help physically unveil the badge (below), and left for the airport very shortly after to return to the UK before the party had technically ended.

At one point, a marching band even came up the escalator playing to the tune of “Back in the New York Groove”, parading through the crowd of guests for a spell, further adding to the festive, triumphant spirit of the occasion.

“Today marks another important milestone in the ongoing development of the New York City FC, and we’re excited to unveil the crest that will represent our Club, our City and our fans,” Pernetti declared. “We thank all those fans who cast more than 100,000 votes and helped play their part in making New York City FC history.”

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

For a club that some would have you believe is without any fans or interest, a tally of more than 100,000 votes is a remarkable gauge of the high level of participation and fan engagement that New York City FC (and presumably Droga 5) has ignited during this very successful badge-voting campaign. Especially when considering that the nascent club has yet to sign a single player.

Indeed, those 100,000-plus fans and participants were involved in what may very well be viewed by posterity as a truly momentous occasion in American Soccer history in helping choose the most sacred icon of a club that seems destined to be an elite force in Major League Soccer once it takes the field. If the team can capture the imagination and forge an emotional connection with one of the world’s biggest cities, it stands to reason that both NYCFC and MLS can reap the benefits of engaging what will be its most important market. From there, the potential is sky-high, especially as MLS allows for more and more monetary investment in talent acquisition.

This is an effort NYCFC has already begun in earnest, with full-page ads showcasing the new official badge in publications such as The New York Post, and New York Daily News with the simple message “Five Boroughs. One City.” And to show that NYCFC hasn’t forgotten about NYC’s considerable Hispanic population, a Spanish-language version of the same ad found its way to the pages of NYC’s El Diario newspaper.

But images of the newly-christened NYCFC badge were not limited to newspaper ads, as they can be found in the ad spaces above several subway entrances throughout the city. The club even got around to finishing the massive mural on that building on Canal & Broadway.

Furthermore, a whole line of new NYCFC merchandise, some of which was first made available for sale at the badge-unveiling event, is now available to the general public at different NYC locations such as the adidas store, Modell’s Sporting Goods as well as the official NYCFC online store.  

A high-ranking source at NYCFC also told me that it is likely that we will see the official NYCFC kits unveiled and up for sale “much sooner” than the “MLS Jersey week” of 2015, news that is sure to make a lot of NYCFC fans happy if that indeed comes to pass.

Esquer’s “Timeless Monogram” of the intertwined NYC even famously already found itself on the canvas of human flesh before not even a week has passed since its unveiling, as EmpireofSoccer.com put out a story of a former Red Bull New York fan getting the NYCFC monogram tattooed on his/her anonymous body, including the personal reasons for his/her “defecting” to the MLS expansion club in New York City proper.

This caused a bit of a stir on the Internet, with many chafed RBNY supporters exclaiming treachery. In any case, it will be interesting to see how many RBNY fans (and Cosmos fans for that matter) might decide they’d rather throw their support behind the club with the clean New York City FC name, vast resources and expected New York City-located home stadium instead.

Time will tell, but with the increasingly visible presence of NYCFC in New York City, it already seems the temperature is rising in the NYC-area soccer culture, as is the awareness of the area’s domestic soccer scene, in general. And no matter how much opposing fans may loathe the idea of NYCFC, they can’t deny that these inevitable by-products of the expansion club’s presence are great for the sport locally and nationally.

The conversion of New York City into a “soccer city” was always going to be crucial for Major League Soccer’s quest to convert the United States and Canada into “soccer nations”, and gain the proper media attention and increase in TV revenue which can help propel MLS to the next level, all of which is a big part of the answer to the frequently-asked question of why City Football Group was allowed to establish NYCFC without a stadium plan in place first.

Well that, and paying 80% of the 100 million dollar expansion fee, along with Sheik Mansour’s seemingly unlimited resources, in general, which will go a long way in investing enough money in top talent acquisition and marketing to convince the notoriously hard-to-please New York soccer fan base to pay attention and get excited about their new club.

In any case, the big blue circular NYCFC launch logo is gone for good and replaced by Esquer’s classy, symbolic New York City FC crest. Time for NYCFC to start growing – and grow it will.

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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