Major League Soccer team Chicago Fire has 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 is changing its name from Chicago Fire Soccer Club to Chicago Fire Football Club. According to a press release: “The change from ‘soccer’ to ‘football’ reflects a long-term vision for the club as Chicago’s global ambassador to the world’s game.”
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.
Chicago Fire owner Joe Mansueto said in a statement: “As a Chicagoan, it was important to me that our new brand identity reflect the power of our city’s origin. I’ve always loved the Chicago Fire name. I think of the people who rolled up their sleeves and committed to rebuild what would become a world-class city, one that my family and I love so much. The new badge including the Fire Crown represents that spirit.”
The branding change, the first since the club’s foundation in 1997, followed consultation, focus groups and surveys with fans, partners, staff and MLS over a period of more than 18 months. The process reviewed every aspect of the club’s existing brand identity. Merchandise featuring the new badge is available for purchase now while future kit designs will be announced at a later date.
The rebrand – which has had a mixed response from fans – coincides with the team’s move from suburban SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois, to Soldier Field in downtown Chicago next year. The team will play Atlanta United in its return to the home of the National Football League’s Chicago Bears, in a nationally-televised match on March 21, 2020.