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Chicago Fire could axe unpopular new logo, admits owner Mansueto

Major League Soccer team Chicago Fire could ultimately axe its new logo, which has proven unpopular with the club’s fans, admits new owner Joe Mansueto.

Mansueto, however, wants to take time to make such a decision in the hope that the new logo sticks.

In November, the MLS team unveiled a comprehensive brand refresh, which includes a new logo and a tweak of its name, ahead of a move to Soldier Field in 2020.

The team changed name from Chicago Fire Soccer Club to Chicago Fire Football Club. There is also a new badge, a mirrored icon with flames inverted to become a crown, which is designed to tell the story of the city’s rebirth from the Great Fire of 1871, from which the team gets its name. But among the fan complaints is an apparent resemblance for the new logo to one for the Latin Kings, a violent gang that operates in Chicago.

“I think when you see a new mark in context and with repetition, you need to really see that to properly evaluate it,” Mansueto told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We need to give it time and hopefully associate it with positive memories, such as winning a championship. It’s hard to evaluate a mark right out of the gate. You need to see it in use.

“As a practical matter, we couldn’t change anything in the short-term: merchandise, uniforms have long lead times. So the thought is, let’s gather feedback throughout the season, let people live with it a bit, see it in use. But our interests are totally aligned with our fan base. We want a great badge that’s fitting for a great club. Ultimately, if it’s not working, we’ll fix it. But we want something that works for our fans.”

Mansueto continues to preach for patience.

“I think you have to give it time to reach a conclusion. Since we can’t change anything in the short-term anyway, let’s see how it goes throughout the season. Does it grow on people? Does it not? If it’s not working, ultimately, we’ll fix it. Hopefully it does. People will see it in context and come to love it. If not, we’ll fix it. But we’ll do what’s right for our fan base. Our interests are totally aligned. We all want a great badge,” he said.

In December, United Soccer League Championship club Louisville City FC abandoned its logo rebrand just four days after its launch following anger from supporters.

Read this: Chicago Fire pushes restart button with new owner and Soldier Field move