National Women’s Soccer League team Reign FC has rebranded as OL Reign following the recent takeover by OL Groupe, the parent company of French women’s soccer team Olympique Lyonnais Féminin.
OL Groupe acquired Reign FC in a $3.51m (€3.15m) deal in December 2019. As part of the deal, OL Groupe has taken an 89.5-per-cent stake in Reign FC, which is based in Tacoma, Washington. Bill Predmore, Reign FC’s former investor-operator, holds 7.5 per cent of the share capital, while former National Basketball Association star Tony Parker holds a three-per-cent stake.
As such, OL Groupe has become the first international majority owner of an NWSL team.
To cement the relationship between the two brands, there has been a name change while there is also a new logo which incorporates the city of Lyon’s most famous symbol, the lion. The primary colors utilized in the badge – blue, red and gold – tie directly to the coat of arms of Lyon as well as to the brand identity of Olympique Lyonnais.
“The acquisition of Reign FC by OL Groupe brought together two organizations with the shared ambition to be the best in the world,” said OL Reign chief executive Bill Predmore. “Our new name symbolizes the aspirations of our collective organization. I believe the new name shows a deep respect and reverence for what our club and our supporters have built over the past seven years. At the same time, the new name provides an authentic connection to the traditions, ceremony, grandeur and spectacle of European football, while looking forward to a future fueled by our shared desire to bring greatness and glory to our city, to our region, and to our supporters.”
OL Groupe president Jean-Michael Aulas said the parent group’s involvement in the US franchise is a comprehensive one encompassing a wide range of company resources.
“Our investment in the Reign FC project includes our know-how, experience, culture and history,” Aulas said. “The lion must make its mark on the future of OL Reign while keeping the identity of the club and leveraging its many achievements and assets. Like Bill, I strongly believe in the inspiration given by this new badge, which combines our DNA to bring OL Reign to the pinnacle of the NWSL at a sporting and business level.”
The NWSL has received significant outreach from international clubs following the takeover of Reign FC by OL Groupe, Chicago Red Stars owner and NWSL executive committee member Arnim Whisler, recently revealed.
“We have been excited to talk with international clubs for a while. OL Groupe certainly added some additional fuel, we got calls immediately from other clubs around the world,” Whisler said. “I think we’re stronger with great owners, no matter where they come from. We’re looking for a rich, diverse and passionate group of owners, and it’s been great to see the international discussions pick up.”