KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — One Knoxville Sporting Club welcomed hundreds of fans to the Mill & Mine on Thursday to catch the first glimpse of the team’s official logo and what’s in store for the city’s newest professional team.
The brand reveal marks a culmination of several months of fan outreach featuring over 1,100 surveys, focus groups and one-on-one interviews from Knoxville residents on the team name, colors and inspiration.
The crest from leading soccer designer Matthew Wolff combines seven unique colors including ‘Sunsphere Orange’ and ‘Old City Brick’. Wolff has created logos for some of America’s biggest teams and is known around the world for his uniform designs at the 2018 World Cup.
Next up on the team’s agenda? Bringing more places to play soccer to the city. One Knoxville partner Drew McKenna said the club is working with city officials to find ways to repurpose spaces of all sizes that aren’t used currently to bring more places to play soccer to more kids in Knoxville. The team hopes to have an announcement on their first repurposed space by the end of the year.
Another pillar of the team’s core philosophy is supporting Knoxville’s many youth soccer programs. McKenna said while they aim to have youth players playing under the ‘One Knoxville’ name in the future, they want to work with the leaders of the local youth soccer team to add value to their development.
“In the immediate, our goal is to plug in with the existing youth soccer club system and be value add on top. We don’t want to be competitive. So that means sitting down with the all the DOC’s, the leaders of those clubs and figuring out how we can add on,” McKenna said.
“We want kids to play with our crest, for sure. We want to play with our crest at the League Two level, League One level and at the youth level. (We) gotta figure out what that looks like.”
One Knoxville will compete in USL League Two, a league that allows college-level and elite high school players with professional aspirations to participate in high-level competition while maintaining NCAA eligibility, starting in May 2022. The team plans to move up to USL League One, a fully professional league recognized as the third tier of American soccer.
Of the 75 college soccer players drafted in 2021 to Major League Soccer, America’s premier league, 49 players played in USL League Two.
Boyd Sports, the sports ownership group lead by Randy Boyd, is currently in the process of seeking approval for a proposed $75 million multiuse stadium in Knoxville’s Old City. Pending approval by the city, One Knoxville plans to play in the new stadium as early as 2024. The team said they plan to announce a home venue for the next two seasons soon.
Thursday’s brand reveal at the Mill & Mine raised over $5,000 for the United Way of Greater Knoxville.
Visit oneknoxsc.com for more information, club merchandise or to put down a deposit for 2022 season tickets.