NYCFC Badge Choices Good Enough For Fans

New York City Football Club invites the fans to take part in making the historic decision of selecting the Club’s official crest
by Nick Chavez   |   Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Blue City – column on New York City FC (NYCFC) & the NYC area soccer scene.

At long last, New York City Football Club has decided on a final 2 badges, one of which will be selected as the most prominent and sacred icon of the new Major League Soccer franchise.

This presents a very unique and historic opportunity for NYCFC fans. They can vote for which badge they want to represent themselves and their club, and they have untill this Thursday, March 13, to do it. After tallying up the votes, NYCFC plans to have a formal unveiling of NYCFC’s sole, official club crest at an event in New York City on Thursday, March 20.

“Our supporters will always have a voice in our Club at New York City FC,” said Tim Pernetti, NYCFC’s chief business officer.  “We are truly excited about this opportunity to partner with them on this decision and we are counting on all New Yorkers and fans beyond the city to get involved, cast a vote and make New York City FC history.” 

The badges were designed by acclaimed Mexican-born graphic designer Rafael Esquer, a New York City resident, whose most famous work is his iconic “Made in NY” logo, which symbolizes the support for local film and television production from New York City. He also designed the 2002 Winter Olympics National Team uniforms, and the Houston Rockets’ most recent logo.

In a side-project established to give back to the community, he also launched a product line called Alfalfa New York to help local NYC artists (especially minorities and those with less opportunity) find a venue for their talent and work. NYCFC would be hard-pressed to pick a more socially-minded and quintessential New York City success story to design their badges than Esquer, and what classically-crafted crests they are.

“This badge is to be the symbol of our Club, a symbol of our players and we hope in time, a symbol of this City.  That is why we decided to give our fans the power to take part in such a fundamental way,” said Claudio Reyna, NYCFC’s Sporting Director and former Captain of the US National Team. “Thanks to the work of Rafael Esquer we feel that we have two designs that truly represent our Club and our City, and we’re excited to see which badge they choose.”

So far, the general consensus from the Internet community is that they are well-done club crests, but as always, opinions run the gamut. Some thought the intertwined “NYC” monogram appearing on both badges too much resembled Serie A giants Internazionale Milano’s crest, though, as a Real Madrid supporter of over a decade, the monogram style most reminded me of my beloved club’s royal crest.

Many thought the New York City seal-shaped (another detail that seems to have been lost on many critics) crest on the left badge choice had a color scheme too reminiscent of the MLB franchise, the New York Mets, due to the orange “N”. A surprising critique coming from so many New York City-area residents, considering the orange was inspired by another iconic symbol that should be familiar to most of them, the actual New York City flag. It is also not distinctly a Mets color, since the NBA’s New York Knicks also famously use the color orange.

So which badge seems the more likely to be unveiled on March 20? It appears a considerable majority social media responses indicate that the circular NYCFC badge design to the right is the preference of most voters and commenters. On the other hand, a “Best of Both Worlds” campaign has been initiated by Chance, one of the prominent organizers of New York City’s first official Supporters’ Group on his blog, where he tweaked NYC Seal-shaped badge on the left, making the monogram all-white, the shield navy blue, and the trim orange instead of gold.

Originally partial to the idea of the New York City seal-shaped idea (though feeling like it was missing something), and the uniqueness of its shape as a football club badge, I find myself leaning towards Chance’s tweak of the design.

But, in truth, I would be pleased with whatever the fans choose, and find myself still on the fence about which of the badges I’d most like to see proudly perched over the hearts of future New York City Football Club players and fans alike. 

Both choices are uniquely-classic looking images, especially compared to most MLS badges, reminiscent of some of the old, legendary crests of the world’s greatest and most famous clubs. No one can doubt the uniquely New York City style of badges, whose only similarity to the Manchester City crest are their sky blue features.

Much to many American Soccer fans’ delight, the badges also lacked the presence of a soccer ball, which many think are unnecessary and tacky. In many cases, I tend to agree with them, and I think the absence of a soccer ball was an excellent touch in this instance.

All in all, Esquer and NYCFC seem to have offered New Yorkers what they wanted; a classic-looking, quintessentially New York City badge that is not very Manchester City-esque at all. A selection of badges that is unique and classy, and worthy of representing the great City of New York in the World’s greatest sport. And now they get to vote on it, though I hope they have an easier time making their decision than I have thus far.  


Club Domestic:
Club Foreign:
Real Madrid CF
This is the longest-running column focused on the only team representing the 5 Boroughs in world football: New York City FC. Long may its supporters continue to make history.