Welcome to Gotham: Sky Blue FC rebrands as NJ/NY Gotham FC

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Cue the Batman music for the former Sky Blue FC. The original National Women’s Soccer League club has rebranded, a mere four days before the start of the season. What was once known as Sky Blue FC is now NJ/NY Gotham FC.

Gotham has been a longtime nickname for the famous New York City. Gotham shares an affinity and connection to both New Jersey and New York. In fact, co-owner of the team Phil Murphy is the governor of New Jersey. The club has played its matches, primarily, in New Jersey, as well, and has shared a stadium with the New York Red Bulls.

But, the distance isn’t far from New York City.

In an exclusive interview with The Equalizer, Gotham General Manager Alyse LaHue said that surveys were released to fans and those in proximity to the club to garner feedback on what the new look of the club would be. A rebrand, she said, has been in the works for quite some time.

“We came up with a compromise that people were comfortable with,” LaHue, said to The Equalizer’s Jeff Kassouf. “They wanted a geographic identity for a long time. Sky Blue was sort of this aspirational name and it doesn’t have a geographic identity; there’s nothing tying it to a place. Fans in this area were really keen to have something that was going to tie into where they’re from and tie them to the pride they have of being from this area.”

Thus, Gotham FC was born.

Gotham FC: New identity born right before Challenge Cup

As mentioned, the rebrand comes a few short days before the 2021 NWSL season kicks off. The season will start with the Challenge Cup, which was created last season. However, unlike last year, the teams will be playing in home markets, and not gathering to one venue — last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teams went to Utah.

Gotham FC will begin their season against the Orlando Pride on Wednesday, April 14. Then, the team will face the North Carolina Courage (April 20), Washington Spirit (April 27) and new kid on the block, Racing Louisville (May 2).

“Today marks a new chapter for women’s soccer in the region,” Club Chair Tammy Murphy said. “We’re making this important change due to our rapid growth and evolution. Our new name reflects our expanding regional reach and captures the relentless determination, unlimited energy, and incredible diversity of the communities we represent.”

“This process is the culmination of a wide-ranging collaboration among our fans, players, front office, and owners” LaHue said, via a press release. “The club has a tremendous history and close relationship with its fans, so it was important we listened and remained completely openminded throughout the process. What emerged is a new brand that is overwhelmingly fan driven, respectful of the club’s past, and representative of a promising future.”

“We view our rebrand as a representation of the bold transformation this club has gone through the past few years,” Vice Chair Ed Nalbandian said. “It’s the natural next step on our mission to take our club to the next level. We want to inspire our growing fanbase and establish ourselves as the preeminent destination for success on and off the pitch.”

All NWSL Challenge Cup matches will air on either CBS or Paramount+. To see the full schedule, click here.