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Volume 25 No. 177
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FC Cincinnati Reveals New Branding, Crest Ahead Of MLS Move

FC Cincinnati's new crest incorporates the city's German heritage and recognizable aspects of the club

FC Cincinnati's brand and crest were "confirmed and released to the public for the first time" yesterday ahead of the team's move to MLS, marking the reveal of the "most visible aspect of any soccer club," according to a front-page piece by Patrick Brennan of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER. Yesterday also "saw the relaunch of FCCincinnati.com, and the appearance of an FC Cincinnati crest at the top of MLSSoccer.com." The new crest features "various subtle nods to the City of Cincinnati's German heritage and other recognizable aspects of the club." The team's former crest was "ubiquitous in the Cincinnati professional sports scene, but the club self-identified some issues with its branding." FC Cincinnati President & GM Jeff Berding said that those "issues were addressed and enhanced by the new crest." The club and partnered on the brand marks and designs with consulting firm Interbrand, and the crest design was "aided on the club side" by VP/Marketing & Consumer Products Amir Shemony. The team also "shed its former proper title 'Futbol Club Cincinnati' and took on the name 'Football Club Cincinnati.'" FC Cincinnati in a statement said that the "much speculated name Fussball Club Cincinnati -- or Fußball Club Cincinnati using the German character -- is the formal, legal name of the club and its business units." However, that name is "not to be used in any sporting reference to the team, or in any public discussion." The team's orange and blue color scheme will remain, though the colors are now "brighter and bolder" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 11/13).

NEW IDENTITY: Berding said that he and other team officials "wanted the city and team name to show up boldly in the logo." In Cincinnati, Steve Watkins notes other MLS logos "don't feature their city as prominently." Berding: "When you see a scroll on TV, they'll have to show FC Cincinnati." He said the club "wanted an MLS identity" and the re-branding "represents that we're not in the USL anymore." He also said that the new logo will "boost merchandise sales." Watkins noted FC Cincinnati merchandise sales "already ranked second among all North American soccer teams." The club "put items on sale" as soon as the branding event ended yesterday, with fans "lining up to snap up gear featuring the new crest" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 11/13).