The longest-standing professional women’s soccer team in the United States recently announced a new brand identity with the hope of capitalizing on the sport’s growing interest. Formerly Sky Blue FC, NY/NJ Gotham FC made its NWSL debut in the 2021 Challenge Cup. The innovation of the league, rising engagement levels and fresh faces on the team sheet made this season the perfect time to reveal their alter ego.
Four days before their opening matchup against Orlando, the club announced a complete rebrand to NY/NJ Gotham FC. The new name and look gives the franchise an opportunity to better connect with fans in the New York metropolitan area and for the first time, gives the team an association with a geographic location. This season, the team will make a permanent move closer to New York to Red Bull Arena, a 25,000-seat, soccer-specific stadium and home of Major League Soccer franchise New York Red Bulls.
The move gives the organization the chance to keep their roots in a New Jersey-based stadium, while also inching them closer to New York’s fan base. If there is one thing to say about New York sports fans, it is that they are extremely passionate about who they support. The combination of New Jersey and New York fan bases is evident with other teams such as the New York Yankees (MLB), New York Giants (NFL) and New York Knicks (NBA). As Gotham F.C. forward and New Jersey native Paige Monaghan explained in an exclusive interview with She Scores, in the New York and New Jersey area, even if you aren’t a soccer fan, you are a fan of New York sports teams.
A new brand pays homage to its history, with New Jersey as part of the name and Sky Blue as part of the colour scheme. In addition to the New Jersey tie-in, the brand introduces the New York connection with “Gotham,” nickname of New York City, and a clean-cut crown on the top of the logo emulating the Statue of Liberty. The debut jersey’s feature a simple Sky Blue slash representing the Hudson River, the body of water that separates the two states. This new identity gives the club a chance to take advantage of their growing fan base in the region and to show that the organization is serious about chasing titles.
In the opening game of the 2021 Challenge Cup, Gotham FC looked to prove a new identity also elevated their on-field performance as they faced off against the Orlando Pride on Apr. 14. NJ/NY won the game on a 79th minute goal by Monaghan, who tucked away an Ifeoma Onumonu cross.
“Sky Blue was great and now Gotham means bigger and better things for the organization, and I am really impressed with how much the girls are coming together and raising their level,” said Monaghan.
Continuing to build their momentum, Gotham earned a second straight win in a back-and-forth match against North Carolina Courage. The game included four goals in the first half, and a 92nd minute Gotham game winner by Evelyne Viens. With the win, Gotham F.C. sits at the top of the table in the East Division.
“When we played the Courage, there were a lot of goals,” said Monaghan. “The momentum is shifting, we are starting to turn heads and now people are really invested and excited about watching.”
Gotham FC will look to continue their winning streak on Apr. 27 when they face the Washington Spirit.