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Welcome to NWSL, Gotham FC

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Sky Blue is dead, long live Sky Blue.

When Sky Blue FC first joined WPS back in the day, there was a lot of headscratching. What is a Sky Blue? What does the logo stand for except two colors, arranged in a crest that hews perilously close to looking like an insurance company’s logo? But the club has persisted over the years, becoming an important part of the history of women’s soccer in the United States. They’ve weathered a front office crisis, hired a new GM, and started taking more and more steps towards evolving and adapting with a growing league. And today, they announced the next step: a total rebrand. Introducing NJ/NY Gotham FC.

Per Gotham FC’s press release, Club Chair Tammy Murphy said, “We’re making this important change due to our rapid growth and evolution. Our new name reflects our expanding regional reach and captures the relentless determination, unlimited energy, and incredible diversity of the communities we represent.”

Said club GM Alyse LaHue, “The club has a tremendous history and close relationship with its fans, so it was important we listened and remained completely openminded throughout the process. What emerged is a new brand that is overwhelmingly fan driven, respectful of the club’s past, and representative of a promising future.”

As for that NJ/NY descriptor, which is admittedly a bit of a mouthful: “The crest center proudly displays three letters in sky blue coloring – an “N” and a hybrid “J/Y”, which acknowledges New Jersey as the club’s birthplace while embracing the club’s growing New York reach.”

The club’s new official colors are Sky Blue, Gotham Black, and Cloud White, acknowledging the club’s history, while also integrating “the longstanding foundation of the club’s supporters group, Cloud 9.” The new crest was designed by graphic artist and NYC native Matthew Wolff.

The crown is, of course, an homage to the Statue of Liberty, but according to the club is also representative of the club’s ambitions and “a welcoming symbol for the team’s diverse fanbase.”

The club’s new site is already live at GothamFC.com.

It’s great to see another club invest in its future - a rebrand is a big deal, and honestly has been needed for some time by one of NWSL’s oldest clubs. Sky Blue has, at best, been charmingly retro with their crest and has lagged behind other clubs at times, both on and off the field. But in recent years they’ve gained steam as a club on the rebuild, trying to earn back the confidence of their fans while also trying to climb out of the doldrums in the league table. Instead of giving up and leaving the club to wither away, they’ve opted to modernize and buy in to developing for the future. Also, the rebrand is just plain good. It’s a really solid, identifiable crest, and the colorway is great. You’ve got to invest in your product to get something out of it, and that seems to be at play here. You love to see it.