After being named a North American finalist earlier this week, Bethlehem Steel FC emerged with the bronze medal for the best new primary team logo in 2016 by SportsLogos.net.
A member of the USL and affiliate for Philadelphia Union, Steel FC’s logo was voted upon by an 11 person voter panel. Steel FC earned two first-place votes and 17 points overall to finish third.
Paul Lukas of ESPN and Uniwatch said of the logo, “The slithering snake and dark color scheme are a nice change from the usual realm of boilerplate sports graphics.” While Maury Brown of Forbes and BizBall added, “I like everything about this logo. The colorway is well throughout, especially leaning on gold.”
“I’m incredibly pleased that ours is the only logo in the top three to be created in-house,” Shaun Kreider, graphic designer for Philadelphia Union and creator of the Steel FC logo, said. “I’ll always be grateful for the confidence our organization showed in me to allow us to organically create the brand ourselves without outside help.”
The Steel FC logo emerged after a six month brainstorming and creative process. The crest pulls together elements from the original Bethlehem Steel F.C., who dominated soccer early last century, winning five U.S. Open Cups from 1915-1926, while pushing the brand into a new era by extending the badge upwards to make the symbol stand as a monument to that glorious past. Steel red mixes with Philadelphia Union blue and gold, combining in a unified color palette while the Union’s snake envelopes the historic I-beam to link together the icons of two clubs. Rivets hold together the two identities to strengthen the bond between MLS and USL while a leather soccer ball anchors the badge, rooting the new team to the pitch.
“When creating this logo our primary concern was creating a brand that would have its own identity and not just feel like an afterthought cobbled together using Union branding elements,” Kreider said. “The initial fan reaction was incredibly positive and honestly, that’s all that really mattered. If they weren’t happy with it, this accolade wouldn’t really matter at all.”
NHL squad Toronto Maple Leafs took home the top award while Double-A minor league baseball team Hartford Yard Goats earned second.
Established in 1997, SportsLogo.net is an online resource website that’s primary goal is to document and archive team logos at all professional levels. Based in Toronto, Canada, the site focuses as the primary arena for all updates in regards to new logos or uniforms throughout the world.
Steel FC was one of two soccer teams up for the award, joining MLS side D.C. United. A complete list of the top 10 in order of finish is seen below.