Why CF Montreal must make (and leave) an impact with 2nd rebrand
Might the second time be the charm?
That's what CF Montreal is banking on right now at least, as the club officially announced this week that they're once again undergoing a rebrand, less than two years after they last tweaked things up.
This time, however, things won't be as grand as that prior rebrand, the waves of which continue to be felt in Montreal. As mentioned by Montreal's new club president and CEO, Gabriel Gervais, a few weeks back, the club is 100% committed to keeping the CF Montreal moniker, meaning that there will be no return of the Impact, the name the team held for nearly three decades prior to the change.
But, as Gervais mentioned at the time, there was a very strong chance that Montreal's current logo – based on a snowflake – could be set to change... as well as the colours.
Let's see what they've come up with – though, to be fair, this rebrand is more than just a logo swap. There's pressure now.
Dealing with an already discontent fanbase, Montreal must ensure that they do not further frustrate an already angry group of supporters, many of whom feel that they’ve been alienated by both the rebrand and other off-field or in-stadium issues over the past few years.
Because of that, it is crucial that they nail this rebrand. Part of the reason that the 'CF Montreal' rebrand fell flat on its face was that supporters felt that it stripped a team rich with soccer history of its identity, instead leaving them with a look to which they hardly felt any attachment, especially compared to their old look.
It didn't help that some Toronto and Vancouver fans clowned on the 'club foot' part, either
From their famed blue, black, and gray colour scheme, to their shield-style logo – which they had held since their entry to MLS – the old brand represented both the current and past eras of Montreal soccer quite well.
So as they get set to unveil this new logo, it is imperative that they find a way to elicit similar emotions from their new badge, both in terms of the present, but as well as their very rich past.
They appear to be well aware of that, too, noting in their release that after listening to their supporters and partners, their new logo will "highlight several key elements of our identity and history."
But how do you do that without actually calling the club "Impact?"
That's the tougher ask.
With one of the richer soccer histories in this country, it would be a great shame to see the Impact name erode away completely, especially given the current success of the team, who, despite all of what's happening away from the pitch, continue to win on it.
Because of that, this latest rebranding effort represents something of a big moment for the club, one that they will hope begins to repair some of the damage left behind from the last, while allowing them to forge their journey forward into the next stage of their development as a team.