Orlando City SC is an American professional soccer club in Orlando, Florida that competes as a member of the Eastern Conference in Major League Soccer (MLS). The club with the same name from USL Pro was the precursor to Orlando City SC. The old Orlando City SC was founded as the Austin Aztex FC, which moved to Florida in 2011. Austin Aztex FC, in its turn, was founded in 2008 and played in the USL First Division.
All three clubs were owned by Phil Rawlins, a businessman from the United Kingdom. He founded the Austin Aztex FC and then moved the team to Orlando and renamed it in honor of the new location. The reorganized team joined the United Soccer League in 2011 for a short run. On November 19, 2013, Orlando City SC was announced as the MLS twenty-first franchise. The team paid $70 million to enter the league. The original franchise, which stayed in the USL Pro, moved to Louisville on June 3, 2014, and became the Louisville City FC.
Orlando City SC is owned by the group led by Flavio Augusto da Silva. On February 17, 2013, Brazilian investors became a majority stakeholder. There are many other individuals in the ownership group, including Brendan Flood (a board member of Burnley FC), John Bonner, and Phil Rawlins (founder and president of Orlando City SC).
The primary color of the team is purple. When the team was a part of the USL Pro, the colors were shades of red, purple, gold, and white, and are the same colors used by Italian Serie A club ACF Fiorentina. The color scheme of the team’s Texas precursor Austin Aztex FC was red and white.
Meaning and History
Due to the relocations and change of the league, the club got through a rebranding several times. In the period of Austin, the Orlando City emblem was an English heraldic shield – a triangular figure with two arcs atop. After the franchise moved to Orlando, the logo changed. The final design was unveiled after they joined MLS in 2014.
2011 – 2014
Logo of Orlando City SC from USL Pro was unveiled during local morning news on Orlando TV station WOFL at 7:00 am on December 16, 2010. Dixon Minear Design Marketing developed branding. There’s a three-headed lion in the center of the logo. This image wasn’t chosen coincidentally: the team is referred to as the Lions, which is traditional for the city’s sports organizations.
A roaring predator with a red mane is baring its sharp fangs. There are “Orlando” above its heads and “City” below. Both words are white and uppercase with sharp cuts. “T” and “Y” run into one in the upper part.
The lower part of Orlando City emblem depicts a ribbed pentagonal star. Transverse lines on its faces create the 3D effect. All elements are on the triangular Old French heraldic shield. The purple shield has three outlines of gold and red color.
2015 – present
The team was required to change its logo and brand before entering Major League Soccer. Under the agreement with Major League Soccer, Orlando City changed the logo to the other teams’ style. Franchise owners began their search for a designer for the logo in November. Wanting to stay true to its roots, the club limited its search to Orlando businesses, narrowing the selection process down to 10 key agencies. They held an open contest and analyzed more than 30 designs.
The team eventually selected a local graphic designer and Orlando City fan, who also happened to be an Orlando City Season Ticket Holder, to design the logo. He was a local freelancer with over 20 years of experience. He began creating concept ideas in 2012 after realizing that there was a high possibility that the club would ascend into Major League Soccer.
The final Orlando City logo was unveiled on May 13, 2014. The team kept the purple and gold color scheme, which makes it unique in the North American football environment. All traces of red are gone from the new logo. The shield is still triangular as it was in 2011; however, it has a Norman shape now. It has two continuous outlines – white (internal) and purple (external). The three-sided shield is a link to the previous logos of Orlando City SC.
There’s a lion’s head in the center. It’s associated with the Lion King by Disney because Orlando is the homeland of Disney World. A subtle crown on the lion’s head represents the club’s dominant reign in the USL PRO of 2013. The symbol of power blanks out against the background of negative space, forming the lion’s head’s silhouette.
The lion has 21 sun flares as its mane, the number of flares represents the club as the twenty-first team in MLS. And the mane also forms a sun about Florida’s nickname as The Sunshine State. Therefore, the integration of the sun in the new logo describes OCSC’s aspiration to become the team representing not only the City of Orlando but also the State of Florida.
There’s a club’s nickname in capital letters under the lion’s head. Designers used the updated font with pointy lines without cuts. There aren’t many details on the Orlando City logo: gold elements stand out against the background of negative purple space.