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Charlotte FC revealed as Major League Soccer team's name
Colors and crest make debut at virtual event
 
Published Wednesday, July 22, 2020 6:00 pm
by Ashley Mahoney | The Charlotte Post

CHARLOTTE FC
Charlotte FC was announced as the name of Major League Soccer's 30th franchise Tuesday. The team, originally scheduled to play its inaugural season in 2021, will launch in 2022 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meet Charlotte FC.

What has been known as Charlotte MLS since Major League Soccer granted Charlotte the 30th expansion franchise in December, finally has a name, colors and a crest. The crest’s color scheme includes blue, black and white. The circular crest includes a white crown with four points representing the four wards of Uptown in the center of a blue backdrop, with Charlotte above, Football Club below, with Minted and 2022 on either side of the crown. It pays homage to Charlotte as the first city to have its own branch of the United States Mint. The logo was a collaboration between in-house staff and Doubleday and Cartwright, a New York-based design and media agency.

“[Doubleday and Cartwright] has quite a bit of experience working with clubs in Major League Soccer, and they really kind of set their mark with the work they did with the [NBA] Milwaukee Bucks,” Tepper Sports and Entertainment Chief Marketing Officer Meredith Starkey said. “It was a partnership between us and them as we developed the brand’s story and the identity system for this club.”

The club held a virtual reveal this morning due to COVID-19, a stark contrast to the packed Mint Museum Uptown for the expansion side’s announcement last year. Eight potential names were initially filed on Dec. 6 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: Charlotte FC, Charlotte Crown FC, Charlotte Fortune FC, Charlotte Monarchs FC, Charlotte Athletic FC, Charlotte Town FC, Carolina Gliders FC and All Carolina FC.

“This is real,” club owner David Tepper said during the reveal. “This is happening, COVID, no COVID, we’re getting ready.”

Said Tepper Sports and Entertainment President Tom Glick during a press conference following the reveal: “There was a clear preference from soccer fans in the city and the region for this name. We followed their advice and we built around that.”

During the reveal, Glick said the franchise’s journey to Charlotte began in May of 2018 when Tepper’s bid to buy the Carolina Panthers was accepted. Glick joined the organization that September, and while Tepper had expressed interest in adding soccer to his portfolio, hiring Glick signaled that he meant business. Glick spent six years with City Football Group, where he saw Manchester City transform to English Premier League title winners. He also knew the landscape of launching an MLS expansion side, helping CFG launch New York City FC in 2015. Tepper paid a record $325 million for an expansion franchise that was set to begin play next year, but the pandemic pushed their inaugural season to 2022.

“It started with 25,000 people putting down season ticket deposits,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. “Let’s get that to 50,000. Let’s fill that stadium when that stadium opens for MLS in 2022.”

Despite the debut delay, Charlotte’s academy arm under manager Dan Lock begins this month. The club signed its first player, Spanish midfielder Sergio Ruiz, earlier this month.  He is a self-described committed and box-to-box midfielder who expects to play an attacking style with Charlotte FC. Ruiz will spend 18 months on loan, as will other signed players going forward. Glick does not expect to sign a manager until summer 2021.

Prior to Charlotte landing an expansion franchise, Ally Financial committed as lead sponsor for Tepper’s group, which means its name will be emblazoned across the team’s jerseys. Ally announced today an $80,000 donation to three local youth soccer organizations: Creative Player Foundation, Street Soccer 658 and Soccer Foundation of Charlotte.

“How we show up and how we engage in the community is very important,” Starkey said. “Before the reveal at 11 a.m., we actually did a call with each of the organizations. We did a private Zoom call with each of them, and gave them the news. To see their faces and their excitement and their enjoyment was awesome. I think we’re just getting started. It starts at the top, and David Tepper is as committed to winning in the community as he is to winning on the field.”

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