General Manager Alyse LaHue impressively managed to ensure no leaks (other than some general rumblings of change) about the details of the re-brand, providing ample room for OaM to speculate and making the shift in name and crest a total surprise. And with that surprise came some fantastic first impressions- the announcement tweet almost immediately exploded into the stratosphere of NWSL twitter, with many noting how impressed they were with the sleek new badge and name.
The first aspect of the rebrand came in the team’s name, which was altered in two parts. First, Sky Blue was switched out for Gotham - tapping into the historic nickname for New York City that dates back to the 19th century, as well as an easy pop culture nod to the New York-styled fictional residence of Batman. What’s more, the rebrand also added a location to the team name, something the old Sky Blue FC moniker lacked, adding NJ/NY as a prefix in a manner that recalls the old MLS MetroStars. LaHue and the club said that the addition of the two states to the name was meant to acknowledge New Jersey’s roots as the club’s original location as well as reference the club’s current aspirations of growing into the big city market of New York.
The second major change was found in the badge and colors. The former blue and orange Sky Blue shield was shifted slightly- with the new variation closer resembling the iconic New York Rangers logo outline. Topped off with the Statue of Liberty’s crown and refurbished with a slick black and teal color scheme, the new shield is emblematic of the club’s modern emergence as a far more dangerous team on the field than in prior years. In the center of the crest is perhaps the most interesting touch on the rebrand, an interesting blend of lettering that seeks to combine both NY and NJ. Perhaps the most complicated aspect of the new logo to pull off, the design does a good job attempting to all but create a new letter, trying to create a NJY where both the J and the Y are distinguishable.
As mentioned, early returns show the re-branding getting a good reception from fans. I personally still hold my reservations over the plan to continuing to reach out to New York instead of consolidating the team’s existing identity in New Jersey, but this new look seems to do both in impressive fashion. The New York iconography is prominent, but the callback to the teams’ supporters and history in New Jersey remains. All that remains to be seen now before Sky Blue kicks off its 2021 campaign are the team’s kits, and LaHue has promised that they’ll be even better than last years’ widely praised lighting bolts. They may not have kicked a ball yet, but much like last year the off-field victories are once again piling up in Harrison.