In 2018, FC Cincinnati was awarded an MLS franchise. After exploding on to the US soccer scene in 2016, FC Cincinnati bullied their way into the ever-interesting and dramatic world of MLS expansion. Long before that launch, we had began exploring what a possible MLS club's branding in Cincinnati could look like. Being that Cincinnati is the city we call home, the project tended to work its own magic. We aimed for a brand that would be seen as "Unapologetically Cincy." We're proud of the concept and wanted to share. Reach out to us if you're interested in your next soccer branding project.
The crest is lead by the three waves from the Cincinnati flag. These waves symbolize Cincinnati's proximity to the mighty Ohio River; the body of water that made Cincinnati possible, flooded its shores with migrants from around the world, and was at one point, a beacon of freedom for many Americans fleeing slavery in the south. The city's motto adorns the bottom of the crest, and is flanked by seven barley grains on both sides. These speak to our rich, historic, German brewing history, and our nickname, "the City of Seven Hills."
FC Cincinnati has used a winged lion as its mascot since its inception. As a city, Cincinnati has a historic mascot in the flying pig. Its origins go back to the days when Cincinnati was a midwest pork hub. In our "unapologetically Cincy" efforts, we wanted to bring Cincinnati's winged friend into the mix.
To this day, more than 50% of Cincinnati residents can trace their heritage back to Germany. It's a city that along with its midwest, "German Triangle" cousins Milwaukee and St. Louis, kicked off America's beer history. In fact, Cincinnati is home to what was once the second largest Oktoberfest on the planet, second only to Munich. Once the club was announced, we wanted to draw these lines in a way that was subtle. Something that could support the brand without dominating it. Because while the city has deep German roots, that's only one color in its spectrum.
FC Cincinnati was one of the largest merchandise sellers in all of American soccer during their time before being announced as an MLS expansion club. The apparel and auxiliary items associated with the club are an opportunity for us to further push the main brand elements by bringing them to the forefront in team apparel and streetwear.