We have the crest, colors and branding for the downtown Pawtucket team entering USL Championship in 2024: Rhode Island FC.
“In soccer, players and supporters wear the club crest over their hearts. Our team is a club for every Rhode Islander and we cannot wait to open our doors to welcome long-time soccer fans and folks new to the beautiful game into our home,” said Cranston native, Rhode Island soccer legend and Rhode Island FC co-founder Michael Parkhurst via press statement. “We spent months talking with other Rhode Islanders to develop a club identity and crest unique to the people and place it represents. Those conversations sparked more than a design: they helped solidify connections with our community and opportunities to give back. When our club steps out on the pitch, every fan will see that we are firmly anchored in Rhode Island.”
The Rhode Island FC crest was designed by the Rhode Island creative agency NAIL and it is the result of numerous listening sessions, surveys and community engagements conducted within the Rhode Island community — in addition to the extensive historical research through American soccer historians and local archivists. The RIFC crest embodies many of the themes and concepts that were discussed in depth with Rhode Islanders, who represented a diversity of experiences and cultures. Those themes included:
- Rhode Islanders love for all things state colors, flag and seal…even license plates
- The anchor as a symbol for hope and being grounded in who we are
- Independent in thought; communal in action
- Rhode Island’s connection to the water, both its rivers and coastline
- Rhode Island’s diversity and the desire for inclusion and community building
- The historical roots of soccer in Rhode Island dating back to the 1800’s
- The salty personalities of Rhode Islanders…you know it
- Rhode Island’s shared passion for soccer, fútbol, futebol, calcio, bóng đá, football…or most commonly referred to as the world’s game
Rhode Island FC honors the state’s rich soccer history which goes all the way back to the 1800s. The city of Pawtucket was instrumental in the development of the sport in New England. Some of the best European talent of the day played alongside Americans as well as new immigrants to the area. Within walking distance of Rhode Island FC’s future home, championship teams such as J & P Coats FC, Pawtucket Rangers and the American Cup-winning Pawtucket Free Wanderers played to crowds of thousands. Rhode Island was also home to the first professional African American soccer players in the United States. Oliver and Fred Watson played for teams in the Pawtucket area in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Their house still stands in Pawtucket to this day.
RELATED STORIES: Rhode Island shifts some TIF proceeds from city to Pawtucket stadium; Rhode Island Pro Soccer launches branding effort, hires first employee; Tidewater Landing soccer stadium project moves forward; Planning on new Pawtucket soccer development continues; Discussions Over Proposed Pawtucket Stadium Project Moving Along; Johnson: Opportunity Zone Designation Should Help Pawtucket USL Stadium Project; Best of 2019, #10: Pawtucket USL Stadium Proposal Unveiled; Johnson Pitches Potential Impact of Pawtucket USL Stadium Project; Remediation Needed for Pawtucket USL Stadium Site; Proposed Downtown Pawtucket USL Stadium Moving Forward; USL Stadium Could be Part of New Downtown Pawtucket Development