New team Reigns in Seattle

Liviu Bird December 19, 2012 24

Six days after the last club announced its name, and four days after the National Women’s Soccer League officially received its title, Bill Predmore announced his team’s name in the Emerald City as Seattle Reign FC on Wednesday.

“Today’s announcement is the result of a thoughtful process to identify the name that best represents the values of our club, articulates our long-term ambitions and celebrates the community within which our supporters live,” Predmore said in a club release.

Reign was one of the names rumored to be in the running, as well as Seattle Sirens FC. As far as the women’s professional sports landscape in Seattle goes, the Reign is not a new brand.

It’s what the team in the American Basketball League, the predecessor of the WNBA, was called. The club was founded in 1996 and played until bad finances and competition from the WNBA forced the league to fold.

“Like the Seattle Sounders, whose fans selected a name that honored those who pioneered the sport of soccer in Seattle in the early 1970s, Seattle Reign FC was in part selected to pay homage (to) those visionaries — the leaders and players of the Seattle Reign women’s basketball team — who pioneered professional women’s sports in Seattle,” Predmore said.

That’s not where the basketball-soccer name parallels stop in Seattle.

The Seattle Storm, the current WNBA team in town, has a name that was formerly owned by a Western Soccer Alliance team in the 1980s. FC Seattle Storm would go on to compete in the semiprofessional Pacific Coast Soccer League from 1993 to 1995.

Stuart Lee, the former English Premier League and old NASL veteran who bought the club and turned it into a PCSL side, still runs FC Seattle Academy and Camps for youth boys and girls.

The club announcement also disclosed several scheduling details for the National Women’s Soccer League. The championship match of the 2013 season will be played Aug. 31, according to the release.

Seattle will hold its preseason camp in March, before an April league kickoff. Presumably, the seven other teams in the NWSL will follow the same schedule.

Further announcements to come will include a head coach, front office hires, venue, ticket prices and on-sale date and a 2013 season schedule.

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  • Steglitz49

    A striking logo though a bit aggressive and militaristic, also medieval.

    Maybe they are hoping for local beverage company to sponsor (may require a change from blue to green)? After all, with Coca-cola, Nike, McDonalds and Visa involved big-time in soccer, high time for an international Seattle corporation to come on board.

    • Microsoft is a big sponsor of Seattle Sounders FC. But with the rumor of “Sirens” and now the obvious lady imagery in the Reign logo, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Starbucks get involved somehow. Predmore’s POP agency has worked with Starbucks, also.

      • Greg_G

        Starbucks was the first thing I thought of when I saw that logo. Not sure if that’s a bad thing yet, but it certainly isn’t a good thing.

        • Steglitz49

          Would you prefer for Starbucks to sponsor the whole league, such as $1m per team for 3 years (total $25m)?

          Or, is your concern that Starbucks get free advertising?

          • Greg_G

            My biggest concern is that the crest, and its unfortunate similarity to the Starbucks logo, may signal an over-prioritizing of commercial concerns over cultural (note that I said “over-prioritizing,” as commercial concerns are certainly an important aspect of growing the league and aren’t to be completely ignored). To be honest I’m not even sure that they weren’t going for some sort of implied connection given the fact that Seattle is its home base. I just hope they aren’t preemptively attempting to sell away the team’s image and culture to a certain mega-company in exchange for what would likely be no more than a modest investment.

            Think of the criticism NY Red Bulls came into when the Company plastered its name, logo, and colors all over that franchise after its purchase; while the fans welcomed the influx of cash, they didn’t appreciate the whitewashing of their team’s history, and there were legitimate concerns about Red Bull’s intentions for the club given NY’s status as a major market in a nascent league. When the fan base forces you to change the team name to make it slightly more palatable (read: less commercial), you have to reevaluate your priorities.

            Hopefully this Seattle team has its priorities in order. The Reign may need to make inroads into the Sounders men and women’s fan bases to succeed. And to do that, they have to be seen there are being a serious, dedicated soccer club. Not one willing to sell its image to the highest (potential) bidder. Now, all this being said, maybe the club just isn’t that creatively original (reusing the Reign name, and “borrowing” the Starbucks logo). And maybe I’m just being a conspiracy theorist. But if Starbucks ends up becoming a partner, we’ll have to be cognizant of the potential control this league may be willing to cede to corporate interests. And, again, maybe I’m just being a little too paranoid. But, man, does that logo look just like the Starbucks logo.

          • Steglitz49

            These are complex issues you raise. I am not familiar with all the details but I hope that the NWSL will enforce some team salary ceiling along the lines of the NFL so that there will be a level playing field.

            It would be good if the NWSL could find a sponsor for the league itself. Let’s hope that Starbucks want to. Maybe the refs can be in green and the corner flags be green – the turf already is green.

            Regarding Company names linked to teams, as far as I know only two companies are allowed to have their names as part of soccer team names. They are Bayer and Philips as in Bayer Leverkusen and PSV Eindhoven. This is because the companies started the sport clubs for the benefit of their workers. NWSL must police this.

            It is too early to tell in Europe, but if wealthy clubs like Barcelona will step up to the plate and inject money into the ladies’ game, anything can happen. The signs are ominous though because in this year’s CL QF only 2 teams are from a small country (Sweden) and the rest from England, France, Germany, Italy and Russia. Last year a team from Denmark also reached the QF but now instead there is one from Italy. That is why a team salary cap in NWSL would be an excellent principle.

            Finally, think of the crest as a Maserati logo!

      • Steglitz49

        Was “Sea-otters” taken? The sea-otters are engaging creatures and their fur is amazing.

  • I like it. The Pacific NW teams both have a little tougher look than the others. Maybe that matches the soccer attitudes of their cities? 🙂 There needed to be some variety and we got it finally thanks to Seattle and Portland. The trick will be for the Thorns and Reign not to wipe each other out at their first clash. LOL

    • Steglitz49

      It is called the beautiful game for a reason. Though it has been quipped that rugby is a game for thugs that is played by gentlemen and soccer is a game for gentlemen (ladies) played by thugs, nevertheless it is worth pondering that the reason few seem to have taken Canada’s side in the Olympics likely was their unnecessarily tough play in the friendly warm-up matches prior to the tournament.

      Maybe the Reign are hoping to sign Iwashimizu?

  • Love the logo.

  • Allie

    I like the crest. However, this new league will be awfully…blue. Seattle, Chicago, Kansas City, and Boston will have blue kits, and potentially the Washington Spirit too since their crest features a decent amount of it. Four or five out of the eight teams could have blue kits…not much visual variety. The only teams who would be different are Portland (supposedly green/black), WNY (red/black, or maybe even some yellow), and SkyBlue (orange). I guess we’ll have to wait and see when the uniform designs come out.

    • randomhookup

      SkyBlue is orange and the Red Stars are Blue? Makes perfect sense.

      • We don’t know what the kits will look like this time around for some of them. Red Stars had a new look last season. Different from their WPS days. I’m not sure if they are sticking with that or will revamp it again with the new league. Isn’t Nike involved this time too?

        • Steglitz49

          Seeing that Nike makes Inter’s kit — at least their logo is on their shirts — getting some blue-black striped jersey’s should be ok. Sizes may be an issue because though Milan has a ladies side but I can’t find that Inter do — at least they do not play in the women’s serie A.

        • Allie

          I’m assuming the Red Stars would still be based on the city of Chicago’s colors though, so predominantly light blue and white, with red accents. It appears Seattle is going to go with dark blue, ‘platinum’ (aka silver), and white. Boston is more of a royal blue, and it looks like KC will be kind of the same, maybe with some of the AC Milan-ish black stripes Steglitz49 described above, since that’s part of their crest.Who knows, maybe Washington will kind of copy the national team’s kits and go with red and white hoops, with some blue stars mixed in? It’s been rumored that Nike is involved, since all we’ve heard is who ISN’T involved – no Adidas (because they wouldn’t let Portland use Timbers Women), and no Puma. Nike is definitely the strongest bet because of their relationship with US Soccer. I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to uniforms and logo design, sorry that I’m starting to blather.

          • Steglitz49

            I don’t know why both Milan and Inter have black stripes in their kits. One assumes that Inter chose blue because Milan already had red. Maybe you can research it for us?

      • Steglitz49

        To me SkyBlue’s colors don’t seem very orange, as in the Dutch NT, but more like old gold or burnt amber. Maybe I need to see the optician?

    • Steglitz49

      The most famous blue and black striped jerseys are probably those of Inter Milan, not a bad club to model oneself on.

  • Wear Nikes Drink Gatorade

    Rats, I was hoping that they would be called the Scampi.

  • TsovLoj

    Awful name. Decent crest though.

  • Steglitz49

    There being many Swedish and Norwegian descendants in Seattle, this logo obviously celebrates queen Margaret, who died 600 years ago this year and whose great achievement was to unite the 5 Nordic countries by the Kalmar Union which she established in 1397.

    Margarete (1353-1412) was the most outstanding woman ruler of the Middle Ages in Europe. She reigned for about 32 years. Margarete had an unusual combination of flexibility and strength, which her successor lacked so the union fell apart and Sweden-Finland went its own way.

    This year all the five Nordic countries qualified for the ladies’ European championship to be held in Sweden, the part of her union in which Margarete prefered to be. She is buried in Roskilde cathedral in Denmark in pride of place immediately behind the high altar, and is known in Denmark as Margarete the Great (but in Sweden as Margareta Valdemarsdaughter).

    Go, Margarets! Iron Ladies of Puget sound, honor your glorious predecessor. Be as great.

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