The Carolina RailHawks have completed their rebranding, as the team is now known as North Carolina FC.
Along with a new name, the club announced plans for a proposed soccer-specific stadium that could accommodate the MLS. As was noted here yesterday, North Carolina FC (NCFC) owner Steve Malik is hoping to amp up the soccer experience in the Triangle, and will be making a strong push to bring the MLS to the region. Malik has also revealed plans to obtain an NWSL franchise.
In the meantime, the team has already revealed a new name and logo (shown above) that incorporates several distinct elements.
The new crest features several elements that tie North Carolina’s rich culture and history together. The white five-point star sits at the peak of NCFC’s crest and is a symbol of the star on the North Carolina state flag. The star embodies North Carolina as a whole, and represents the state’s admission as the 12th US state. The lower right point of the NCFC star representing the Triangle area geographical shape stands alone to place emphasis on the club’s location. “FC,” the acronym for football club, lies between two airplane wings as an ode to North Carolina’s slogan: “First in Flight.” Additionally, the primary crest colors “Atlantic Blue” and “Cardinal Red” are inspired by the state flag and complemented by “Southern Gold,” a nod to the legendary accomplishments of North Carolina’s athletes throughout the years.
“We wanted a crest that embodied the symbols that are synonymous with the state of North Carolina,” said North Carolina FC President and General Manager Curt Johnson. “The star, the triangle, the wings and the colors are all nods to the state’s rich culture and tradition.”
Malik also announced an aggressive public campaign to be awarded an MLS franchise within the next 12-18 months. This desire comes after discussions with MLS executives over the last 12 months, as well as a market study which reinforced that the Triangle would be a successful MLS Market.
In addition, Malik stated he is planning to accelerate efforts to finalize a location and begin construction on a new 20,000+ seat stadium within the next year. The location and renderings will be unveiled in 2017.
“We feel we are well positioned for this,” Malik continued. “The market is ready for an MLS team based on our geographical location, population growth, dynamic economic environment and significant soccer participation. MLS requires a minimum of 20,000 seats with amenities in order to maximize revenue, and a new stadium is vital to our plans as it would increase the economic impact in the area and allow us to better showcase the sport.”
Since taking over the team, Malik has advocated for a multi-team organization. To that effect, he also announced his desire to be awarded a first-division National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) team to the Triangle in the next three to six months.
“We have seen tremendous success in North Carolina with women’s soccer,” Malik said. “The numerous accomplishments of local college programs, paired with the continued success of the USWNT, have driven interest in women’s youth programs. We feel the time is right to bring the highest level of women’s professional soccer to the Triangle.”
Lastly, North Carolina FC will be launching a membership program to enlist widespread support from all segments of the community – individual, corporate, and governmental – to help aggressively drive the successful execution of the above initiatives.
“There is tremendous value to the membership program,” Johnson concluded. “Aside from allowing members to secure their priority spot for MLS and NWSL seats at a new stadium, it gives supporters the opportunity to impact the process. The best way soccer enthusiasts, supporters, fans and corporations can help us achieve our goals and be a part of this movement is by becoming season ticket members, sponsors and members of our organization. They would be putting their name and money behind growing the fan base, as well as being a part of the growth of the sport and these historic initiatives.”