KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — After months of community feedback and anticipation, the name of the professional soccer team coming to Knoxville was announced on Thursday. The name, One Knoxville Sporting Club, is the first major step in a brand unveil process ahead of the team’s 2022 on-field debut.
The name was one of four final candidates released as part of their ‘Dub the Club’ initiative earlier this year. The other potential names were Knoxville Rovers, Knoxville Ascent and Knoxville Soccer Club. One Knoxville SC was selected after a community outreach initiative that included nearly 1,200 surveys, multiple public forums and visits to local youth soccer programs.
The announcement was made through a video narrated by Hallerin Hill, an award-winning local radio host and TV personality.
“From the outset, this brand creation process has been powered by community input. As part of this process, we received and reviewed over 1,100 fan surveys and hundreds more points of feedback on social media. We also held virtual focus groups and conducted dozens of one-on-one interviews with members of the Knoxville community. We’re really excited to share our direction forward – One Knoxville SC.”One Knoxville partner Drew McKenna
The team will reveal their official club logo and uniforms at a community event on Thursday, August 19. One Knoxville SC has partnered with renowned soccer designer Matthew Wolff to help create their visual identity. Wolff is internationally-known for the Nike uniforms he designed for France and Nigeria’s 2018 World Cup
runs and has designed dozens of team logos, including for Major League Soccer clubs LAFC, NYCFC and Chicago Fire.
The team 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 2022. The group aims to later join USL League One, a fully professional league that is considered the third tier of American soccer.
“One Knoxville is a name that is unique, ownable, aspirational, and represents how Knoxville’s broad range of assets, ideas and cultures is stronger together than on their own,” said Mark McComas, Pedal co-founder and One Knoxville partner, said. ‘In the first fan survey we released, we asked the question ‘How would you describe Knoxville in a few words?’ One response we received simply said ‘Emergent, Rooted’. That stopped us in our tracks. What name could possibly represent that idea? One Knoxville is able to,’ McComas added.
Boyd Sports, the sports ownership group lead by Randy Boyd currently in the process of seeking approval for a proposed $65 million, a multiuse stadium in Knoxville’s Old City, confirmed they are in talks with to host the team’s home matches if the stadium plan is approved.
The soccer club’s website also outlines three pillars of its philosophy: Knoxville Proud, Civic Citizen and Everybody’s Teammate. Team officials have stated their goal is to support the city’s existing youth soccer culture while fostering regional pride and positive change in the local community.