FC Cincinnati unveiled its MLS branding at an invitation-only event at the Woodward Theater in Over-the-Rhine on Monday. Selected FC Cincinnati supporters and VIPs huddled into the intimate venue to hear the long-awaited announcement. Interbrand, a global brand consulting firm, developed the new MLS logo and associated branding in partnership with FC Cincinnati ahead of the team’s 2019 MLS debut. Tommy G and Kevin McCloskey emceed the event. Jeff Berding, Carl Lindner III, Alan Coch, and Interbrand designers also addressed an energized crowd.
The Woodward Theatre is the same venue that FC Cincinnati used to announce its MLS aspirations in November of 2016 when MLS commissioner Don Garber attended a rally there after touring the city. Just under two years later, FC Cincinnati released its branding in the same location, now as the 24th member of Major League Soccer.
Controversy swirled in the Queen City leading up to the event because the logo was leaked via social media outlets. It also appeared on an official MLS store website (albeit hidden at a URL not directly linked from the main page).
— Bob Williams (@WilliamsBob75) November 9, 2018
Below are six fast facts about the team’s new MLS branding.
- Interbrand’s Cincinnati office, which includes a Cincinnati born-and-bred team, led the FC Cincinnati brand update. Interbrand is famous in soccer circles for the recent rebrand of Italian Serie A’s Juventus. They also designed the branding for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.
- As expected, the team’s name remains FC Cincinnati but changes from Futbol Club Cincinnati to the English spelling of the name, Football Club Cincinnati. The press release also clarified that the German-inspired name Fußball Club Cincinnati is the team’s legal name only. It will not appear “in any sporting references to the team or in public discussion.”
- Similarly, the Orange & Blue colors have been retained, but are “brighter and bolder.” Also of note is that a darker blue color is used for the word “Cincinnati,” in order to further emphasize the word. The two blues used in the logo have been the subject of a number of aesthetic debates online.
- There are some clear tie-ins to the city of Cincinnati. The lion still wears a crown to represent the Queen City. The lion’s mane has seven points denoting the seven hills of Cincinnati and the lion’s tail curves into a “C.”
- The club has introduced two new taglines, “Ignite and Unite” and “Now and Forever.” “The Orange and Blue” is also now officially a tagline and part of the brand rather than just a nickname.
- The club also released publicly-stated values and a club story which can be found in the full press release.
FC Cincinnati Managing Owner Carl Lindner III had the following to say after the event. “We’re thrilled to introduce our MLS brand. FCC has forged a strong connection with our city over the past three years. As we move into the future as an MLS club, our new look maintains that strong connection. It reflects our passion and ambition for world-class soccer in Cincinnati.”
The next major event on FC Cincinnati’s MLS calendar is the Expansion Draft which will take place on December 11th at 3 pm. FC Cincinnati will select five unprotected players from the rosters of existing MLS teams to bolster their current squad. Details are still surprisingly sparse about which players will return for next year’s campaign.
Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati’s offseason and MLS preparations.