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FC Cincinnati: Moving up to the Major League

FC Cincinnati
Introducing FC Cincinnati as a world class brand.

FC Cincinnati. A name that immediately resonated with an entire region. When the announcement that an expansion soccer team was coming to Cincinnati in 2015, the news was met with record-breaking enthusiasm. While starting in the United Soccer League (USL), FC Cincinnati built the club from day one with a major league mindset. After less than three seasons on the field, to the credit of the tireless efforts of the organization, the city, and the fans, FC Cincinnati achieved the goal of playing at the highest level, winning a bid to join the MLS in 2019.


Reaching the next level

With this next big stage on the horizon, the club needed to keep thinking big. They needed to continue marching together with their fans and the community towards the new opportunities afforded to them as a part of Major League Soccer, and through the growing popularity of the sport. To establish FC Cincinnati as the premier soccer club in the world and to introduce the club as a world-class brand as they enter this new level of play, the team sought to elevate their identity to inspire passionate affinity while also being flexible and comprehensive across a multitude of touchpoints.


Community at the core

To achieve this, Interbrand and FC Cincinnati joined together in a collaborative partnership with fans, the community, and key club stakeholders. The club and the local community had worked hard to build a relevant sports brand. Seeing the world from the fan perspective was the key to success.

The process began with the Interbrand team immersing ourselves in the things that FC Cincinnati held dear: the heritage of the city, especially the West End home of the future stadium, the sense of pride in our community, and the passionate perspectives of fans. Club owners and staff members, supporter groups, West End community leaders, MLS stakeholders, and a large group of fans were interviewed to inform the new identity.

What this immersion uncovered was that FC Cincinnati is a connector and a trailblazer. It is an organization built on progressive actions that connect diverse people through a common goal and shared passion for both the game and the community. Using this as a key insight, we co-created with members of the Supporter Council and the core FC Cincinnati team to develop the new brand strategy and identity. Both celebrate the roots of the club and the city while ensuring relevancy and the ability to withstand the test of time and change.


A new identity is born

The brandmark and brand story were enthusiastically received by the public upon reveal on Monday, November 12, 2018. The passion FC Cincinnati exudes is evident in everything they do; they “Ignite and Unite” the fans, the community, and the club around a love for the game of soccer.

“Developing our MLS identity has been an intensive, yet gratifying process, but it’s been so well-worth the end result we’re presenting today. We’re incredibly proud of the work put into this development process and what is before you today as our final product. We firmly believe these new marks and brand system are a perfect representation of our club as we enter Major League Soccer. We introduced local, organic elements to refresh our look, yet kept specific iconography from our early years to retain familiarity. We cannot wait to take the field in 2019 bearing the FC Cincinnati – Football Club Cincinnati – crest on our chests.” – Jeff Berding, FC Cincinnati President and General Manager.


Read the full press release here for more details.

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