Philadelphia Union is an American professional soccer team based in Chester, Pennsylvania, in the statistical area of Philadelphia. The club began to play in 2010 as an expansion team of the league. The Union competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member club of the league’s Eastern Conference.
Major League Soccer added Philadelphia as its sixteenth team on February 28, 2008. MLS presented the franchise to Keystone Sports & Entertainment. The club’s finalization was the result of a $47 million package approved by Delaware County politicians and the Pennsylvania governor that included the cost of Talen Energy Stadium and a major urban renewal project.
The club operated under the name MLS Philadelphia 2010 for most of 2008 and the early portion of 2009. The name was chosen following a fan poll held between January 19, 2009, and February 6, 2009. Four options for fans were Philadelphia Union, Philadelphia City, SC Philadelphia, and AC Philadelphia. On May 11, 2009, the mayor officially announced the Philadelphia Union’s name during a ceremony held at Philadelphia City Hall.
The club’s name, “Philadelphia Union” incorporates America’s rich colonial history. This is a reminder of the Union of the Thirteen Colonies of Great Britain, which declared independence and formed the USA. Philadelphia was the first capital of this Union. It’s no wonder that the team’s colors are navy blue and gold, representing the primary colors of the Continental Army’s uniforms during the American Revolutionary War.
Keystone Sports & Entertainment owns the Philadelphia Union. Nick Sakiewicz led the group of owners until October 2, 2015, but he quit due to his strained relationship with the Union’s fanbase. Jay Sugarman, CEO of iStar Financial, took his place. Other investors included David Seltzer, Richard Leibovitch, Joseph J. Greco, David B. Pollin, Robert Buccini, and Christopher F. Buccini.
Meaning and History
From 2010 until the present, the club had two logos, which differ only in color. They’re aligned with the name Philadelphia Union as they contain graphical references to Philadelphia’s past. They reflect the history of USA independence and key national symbols.
2010 – 2017
The first Philadelphia Union logo was unveiled on February 28, 2008. Its round shape stands for national unity. There are 13 gold stars on a navy blue ring, and each of them represents one of 13 American colonies. There’s an English heraldic shield with two cups in the upper part in the center of the logo. The same shield is featured on Philadelphia’s flag and stamp.
A horizontal line crosses over the shield, and there’s a rattlesnake under this line. Venomous reptile rolls itself up into a ball and sticks out its forked tongue. This pays homage to a political cartoon by Benjamin Franklin that was published on May 8, 1754. The rattlesnake became a national symbol during the American Revolution, representing the danger of disunity. It was a national symbol of the Union of the Thirteen Colonies and was featured on the Gadsden flag.
The Philadelphia Union logo uses the Union’s official colors, which are gold and navy blue, representing the primary colors of the Continental Army’s uniforms during the American Revolutionary War. The light blue in the middle of the crest is a tribute to the Sons of Ben and is further derived from Philadelphia’s civic flag. Coincidentally, the navy blue, gold, and light blue colors of the Union are also the predominant colors in the state flags of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.
There are two words in the upper part of the Philadelphia Union emblem: “Philadelphia” on the wide ring with stars and “Union” on the heraldic shield. The font of the first word is stylized with round cuts, and the font of the second word is geometric without cuts.
2018 – today
In 2018, the team changed their logo initiated by Shaun Kreider, design manager, and Doug Vosik, vice president of marketing. As the Union entered their ninth season, Shaun Kreider knew fans wanted a change and a new spin on the classic Philadelphia Union logo. The designers created a simplifier look: they removed the center white ring, traded their original gold and navy blue for the new brighter and more vibrant shades. They also added a brand-new gold gradient. Blue outlines in the center are gone – the logo features just one lone blue stripe down the center. The shapes and geometry of the other elements remained the same.