Louisville's Pro Soccer Team Ceased Merchandise Production After Fans Hated New Logo
Soccer fans in Louisville, Ky., were excited to see their professional team, Louisville City FC, unveil a new crest. The new identity would accompany the team's new home, Lynn Family Stadium, which is currently under construction.
Fans weren't so excited once they actually saw the new logo, though.
LouCity is Our City. LouCity's new crest pays homage to the traditional City of Louisville flag and seal. pic.twitter.com/B3O3RdNAyG
— Louisville City FC (@loucityfc) December 17, 2019
This is one of the worst rebrands I’ve ever seen. Went from a pretty cool logo with identity (left) to something an intern probably made in MS Paint (right). At least Louisville City FC (or Lou City FC now?) are willing to fix it. pic.twitter.com/Py87HKrQYx
— Marius Froehlich (@MariusFroehlich) December 20, 2019
@brad_estes please stop. I keep looking at the new crest and I really want to like it I just don't. You wanted to pay homage to our city by removing the name of our city? I understand that we are going to be stuck with this for a while. Stop ramming it down our throats.
— Robert Bentley (@BobcatSNES) December 17, 2019
In many cases like this, fans are just stuck with a bad logo for a few years until ownership can admit their fault and go back to the drawing board. Heck, that's what the Miami Marlins have been doing for a few seasons now.
But, to Louisville City FC ownership's credit, they heard the fans' pleas and stopped production on all merchandise bearing the new crest.
A Statement from Louisville City FC President Brad Estes:
— Louisville City FC (@loucityfc) December 19, 2019
“The important part of the crest is the name of the city to a lot of people because that is part of the community and when they shortened it to Lou some people didn't care for that,” Glenn Grumm, treasurer of the Louisville City FC supporters group, told Wave 3.
“We did not include those of our supporters that are our lifeblood to our organization,” Estes told Wave 3. “We should’ve seen that, and we should’ve been better about it. So, for me, there’s no better time to fix a problem than right away.”
It sounds like a revolutionary idea, but it's really just good business. When you own a sports team, merchandise sales are vital. If your fans hate the logo, why would they wear it? It's a pain to eat the cost of the merchandise that's already in production (hey, it might end up as collectors' items one day), but in the long run it's a good move.
It's also an important lesson about listening a target audience and fully understanding what they expect and how you can deliver that. Getting something right the first time always beats having to go back and correct an error, but admitting a mistake and going above and beyond to correct it can go a long way.