CF Montreal Blends The Old And The New With Logo Announcement
MONTREAL — The blue is back, the stripes are back, the shield is back but the logo is still round and the name is still CF Montreal.
Joey Saputo and club president Gabriel Gervais called a press conference at Centre Nutrilait Friday morning to unveil the logo CF Montreal will be showcasing across MLS starting in 2023. If one thing is for certain, it’s that the club is putting its history back on the forefront.
“Immediately after the [current] logo was unveiled, we felt that it was more negative. We hoped to have more positive reactions,” Saputo said. “I have to tell you that the thing that was done wrong was the way we communicated the reason why. It was a difficult year. At the end of the summer, when we took a step back, we saw that the past wasn’t there. At that point we felt the frustration from our fans, from the people that really liked the team.”
Sixteen months removed from the famous rebrand event on Jan. 14, 2021, CF Montreal presented a new logo that nods to the past. Quebec’s “fleur de lys” returns in a very central role within a shield, reminiscent of the first MLS-era Impact logo.
The blue and black stripes also make a comeback along with 1993, the year the Impact was established. One aspect that the club won’t budge on remains the name, CF Montreal, written at the top of the circular logo. While Saputo argues that it was in discussion with fans, Impact will remain a nickname but will not be the official team name.
“It wasn’t necessarily the name, it was the fact that we changed completely and that the past didn’t exist anymore,” he said.
Discussions for the logo, and its creation by Montreal firm Pigeon, were underway before Gervais arrival as club president. Gervais added that he got to see the logo before he joined the club but will not take credit for its creation.
“Maybe some people may not like the shades, others may not like some of the colours but overall, nobody can tell us that it doesn’t reflect well our history, what we represent,” Gervais said. “Yes, Impact is not there because it’s CF Montreal that’s our native city at the heart of it. So I think our fans are gonna be proud to wear it.”
Before the announcement, Gervais underlined the role and values of the club as they go forward. At its core, CF Montreal wants an emphasis on grassroots to pro level, giving back to the community, promoting soccer culture, unifying, leaving a legacy, and representing Montreal and its identity.
If I can allow myself a bit of editorializing, these values make me think of head coach Wilfried Nancy. The Frenchman moved to Montreal over a decade ago and coached at the provincial grassroots level. He then joined the Impact academy and made his way all the way up to the head coaching position. Did he see a little bit of himself in the new logo?
“Yes, for sure, I have to be honest,” Nancy said. “Because I came here in 2010 and we had a similar logo. And again, this is also my story. Yes, because I came here with my backpack and after that all the new opportunities to grow.”
“And today, when we talk about passion, when we talk about grassroots effectively, this is something that I believe in a lot and that’s because this is the way I am as a person. This is also, when we see the team, the kind of players that we have and also for me, the way we play, to get this passion. For me this is really important that a player should be passionate but for the game and for me in my team of players like this though, so this is nice.”
The players were shown the new logo a day prior. For Samuel Piette, it’s a return to something that represents his home province of Quebec.
Piette partially agreed that changing the logo could be a relief for him as the most prominent Quebecois on the team and one of the club captains. Aligning with the history of a team he watched as a left and left Europe to play for is more important to Repentigny, Quebec native.
“It’s what this club is about, the community, the population,” Piette said. “Some people, for them, the logo was not even the logo, it’s the name. For me going to this blue, the blue that we still still see in this training ground where we show up every day, it’s a good thing for sure. We’re reconnecting with the history of the club which is super important.”