An unsolicited branding proposal for NYCFC

This is an unsolicited and unofficial conceptual sketch unassociated in any way with NYCFC’s owners, Manchester City and the New York Yankees, or Major League Soccer. It was released May 31, 2013, almost a full year before the official NYCFC badge was released on March 20, 2014. Evidently, NYCFC liked our subway token reference. You can read a review of our concept here.

New York City is finally going to have a first division football (soccer) team playing in the five boros. Major League Soccer will incorporate New York City Football Club as the 20th franchise in 2015 and it will be owned by the English Premier League’s Manchester City with the New York Yankees as minority owners. The franchise was announced prior to being properly branded, so we couldn’t resist proposing our vision for NYCFC.

NYCFC is starting with a blank slate but it already has some big boots to fill. With the legacy-rich, retro-cool New York Cosmos long favored to be the logical choice for expansion, the NYCFC announcement came as a surprise. The name chosen by the owners creates an intentional symmetry with the Manchester vs. Manchester City rivalry by enabling a New York vs. New York City derby.

“New York City Football Club” feels big in scope. It is unfettered by associations to mascots or natural phenomena, which is refreshing for an American sports franchise. The only clear inheritance is the blue color palette of the parent organizations. Other than that, this brand is completely wide open.

We set out to create the club’s identity with the following simple goals:

  1. Build a globally recognized football brand that captures the attitude and visual iconography of New York City.
  2. Embed the legacy of the ownership partners: Manchester City and NY Yankees.
  3. Create a modern classic – a clean identity that appeals to both young and mature New York City football fans.

Here is what we came up with.