One week after clearing the first major hurdle in the process of bringing Major League Soccer to Austin, what that team would look like started to come into focus.
The team released its name, Austin FC, and a newly-designed badge featuring two bright green intertwined oak trees, in front of about 300 people at a private event at The North Door in East Austin Wednesday night.
“Austin s a fun town and we have a license to be weird, but that’s not where we took this,” said Adam Butler, co-founder of the Butler Bros. brand studio that designed the logo. “We wanted to create a badge for the entire city that will stand the test of time. The ambitions of this team are to be here for a long time.”
Anthony Precourt, the investor/operator of Columbus Crew SC, was present at the event as was Precourt Sports Ventures President Dave Greeley. A few members of the Austin City Council were also in attendance, which voted 7-4 in favor of letting a stadium be built on public land last week.
The shade of green is a little brighter than the one used for the MSL2ATX marketing swag that has been handed out over the last 10 months.
The four roots on the bottom of the badge represent the four areas of Austin, while the 11 leaves symbolize the players on the fields and the branches are the supporters. The intertwined oaks are meant to represent the City and Club working together.
“Trees in Austin are a beloved thing, the oak tree in particular,” Butler Bros. co-founder Marty Butler said. “What we were looking for was something everyone could identify with and get behind. We were looking for something that was more timeless and classic.”
Marty Butler said the studio explored a lot of different names, but it was clear through community engagement that Austin needed to be the biggest part of the brand. He also welcomed community input on the potential nicknames and mascots.
Three of last four teams to join MLS have adopted the ‘Football Club’ in Los Angeles FC, Atlanta United FC and New York City FC.
The only two teams in the league with ‘Soccer Club’ are Orlando City SC and Precourt’s Columbus franchise, which rebranded to Columbus Crew SC in 2014 to reflect the city and the club supporters.
“MLS has been vacillating back and forth and I think ‘FC’ is a more endearing title than ‘SC’ so we stuck with it because it’s more traditional and longer lasting,” Adam Butler said. “We’re situating ourselves in that tradition and not trying to do something that might wear out in a few years.”