In a press release issued Tuesday afternoon, the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group announced that the soccer team that will represent Ottawa in the North American Soccer League starting in 2014 will be called the Ottawa Fury Football Club. More than 4,000 suggestions were received by the ownership team from Ottawa fans in a “Name the Team” campaign.
John Pugh, President of the Ottawa Fury FC said, “We are so very grateful to everyone who participated in the naming campaign, we received many good suggestions and, after much deliberation, no name surpassed that of the Ottawa Fury, which already associates Ottawa with success on the field and stability off the field across North America.”
A soccer team named the Ottawa Fury has been in existence since 2005 playing in the USL Player Development League capturing divisional titles in three of the four last years.
NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson noted “The Ottawa Fury brand is well respected in both Canada and the United States. The hard work that has been put into this project will ensure success both on and off the field for many years to come. We are excited that Ottawa’s first kick in NASL at the new Lansdowne Stadium is just around the corner.”
Up next for the Ottawa Fury FC fans will be a campaign to assist management in the selection of the official logo that the team will proudly wear for generations to come. Details of that contest will be released in the coming weeks.
“Our goal is to provide exciting, affordable professional soccer to passionate fans in a soccer-friendly new stadium,” said Pugh. “This is Ottawa’s team and it is really important for our fans to feel and be part of it. The next twelve months will prove very exciting as we continue to build the Ottawa Fury FC franchise.”
Engaging fans in important team decisions is a growing trend in the NASL. Most recently the Virginia Cavalry, another 2014 NASL expansion franchise, did the same thing and announced its result earlier this month. In December of 2012 the existing Atlanta franchise gave fans the opportunity to rename its team; fans chose at that time to keep the Atlanta Silverbacks name and continue to grow that brand. Atlanta then engaged its fans in the process to decide the team’s logo – two tasks yet to be undertaken by the Ottawa Fury and the Virginia Cavalry.
The 2013 NASL season kicks off in April with a split season. Seven teams will compete in the Spring season and will be joined in the Fall by one of the most recognizable names in North American soccer, the New York Cosmos.