Seattle Sounders to ‘Explore’ Club’s Identity in Lead-up to 50th Anniversary

As the club approaches its 50th anniversary, Major League Soccer side Seattle Sounders FC has big plans. And those plans could include a revamp of their visual identity.

The club held a press conference on Wednesday, Feb. 16, to announce what they have in the works for their golden anniversary, coming up in 2024. The biggest thing will be the opening of a new training facility in the suburb of Renton, Washington, on the site of a former horse-racing track.

But the subject of the club’s visual identity was also broached, with club officials saying they would “explore the club’s identity” with input from supporters and community members.

Graphic courtesy SoundersFC.com

“From our club’s perspective, the next 50 years of Sounders history starts right now,” Sounders owner and president of business operations Peter Tomozawa said in a team statement.

“Our club is and always will be what our fans say it is. That’s a core part of our club culture and is something we want to emphasize during this process. Fan input is critical to understanding who we are and what we stand for.

“As we take stock of those conversations, we believe this kind of dialogue will better inform all aspects of Sounders FC. This includes everything from how we represent our community to the team’s physical visual identity, including our marks and club crest.”

Seattle Sounders FC’s 2022-23 home kit, unveiled on Tuesday. (Courtesy SoundersFC.com)

Sounders chief revenue and marketing officer Taylor Graham will oversee the review of the club’s visual identity, working alongside three independent design firms:

Taylor told SBNation’s Sounder at Heart blog that he’s going into the review process with an open mind, and the results could vary from very minor changes to a complete overhaul.

“This is a chance to embrace the past and storytell about what makes this club so unique for so many decades, but also codify that into our brand identity into ways that were not when we launched into Major League Soccer,” Graham told Sounder at Heart. “It was before we knew who we were. We now have a lot of years and amazing successes to evolve this.

“But this is not the club doing this; it will be driven by our fanbase and our community. This is a dialogue, this is an openness and a conversation, but we feel it’s the right one especially to have some uncomfortable conversations about our brand identity and specifically our visual brand identity.”

The Seattle Sounders first played in the North American Soccer League from 1974 to 1983, and then in the USL First Division from 1994 to 2008. They joined MLS in 2009, and won MLS Cups in 2016 and 2019.

Background feature graphic courtesy SoundersFC.com