A Rebuttal to my FC Edmonton Reveals Logo Rant
On Tuesday, I posted a rant concerning FC Edmonton’s new logo. While I’ll stick by what I said, and I still loathe the black and white soccer ball in a team or club logo as much as I did 2 days ago. However, I am making room for a rebuttal by friend in soccer, Scott Kerssen. The Thunder historian who now lives in Milwaukee but still makes trips back to the Twin Cities to watch the new NSC Minnesota Stars, posted this in the comments. However, I thought it was too good to just let go. So here is Scott’s counter in its entirety.
By Scott Kerssen
First, let’s clean up a bunch of these gross generalizations.
On this continent, it is not unusual at all for a pro sports team to incorporate pieces of the sport’s equipment in its logo. If you go HERE and check the logos for the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL, you’ll find that many incorporate balls, bats, helmets, sticks, pucks, etc. And for those that currently don’t, like the Cleveland Browns, click on their logo to look at past logos. You’ll find that the vast majority of pro sports teams on this continent have, at one time or another, incorporated their sport’s equipment into their logos. So, it’s not just a soccer thing here. Nor is it only used with unfamiliar sports or teams. Everybody knows who the New York Yankees or the Los Angeles Lakers are and what they play.
As for having the black and white soccer ball (to be referred to as the “Buckyball” for reasons that will be illuminated later) in the logo being “more or less a North American ‘thing’”, I’m going to say less. It’s a world thing. Check the logos here (The videos are collections of crests and last from about two to seven minutes each.)
While the site doesn’t show every crest from every country, it does show a fairly wide spread of crests from the countries it does list. The teams range from the top divisions to the fourth or fifth level. I checked out about two thirds of the countries they list including all the major ones (Italy, France, Germany, England, Brazil and others) and countries from all the confederations (AFC, CONCACAF, UEFA, OFC and COMNEBOL). EVERY country I checked had at least one club sporting the Buckyball on its crest. In some countries, especially eastern European, the MAJORITY of clubs incorporated the Buckyball into its club logo design. All totaled, in the twenty-five countries I searched, I found over 150 clubs using the Buckyball. And again, this was not an exhaustive search, by any means. This is a common thing, world-wide.
By the by, Brian, that tasteful brown ball that Barca uses in their logo? Very common in Spain. I found about thirty clubs there using the same ball in their crests. I suspect that if you lived in, say, Mallorca, you’d have written about how tired you were of that little brown sucker.
Finally, comes the question of “Why the Buckyball?”
A confluence of factors, most easily gleaned from these two sites:
Or for those who like their info to be pre-gleaned…
Soccer had been using 12 or 18 panel brown or orange leather balls for most of the first six decades of the 20th Century. But in 1970, FIFA chose the Adidas Telstar ball, which was based on geodesic design concepts created by world renowned American architect, designer, inventor and author Buckminster Fuller. The Buckyball was a huge step forward in ball design, creating a truer spherical shape.
The main historical significance of the 1970 World Cup to soccer is that it was the first World Cup broadcast around the world in color using satellite technology and scheduled with television in mind. In a sense, it was the point where soccer truly became the world’s game.
So, if you take a deeper look at it, it makes perfect sense that the Buckyball is so common in soccer logos and crests, here and around the world.
Has it become repetitious? Well, that is an individual preference kind of question. Personally, I don’t care what the ball looks like as long as NSC Stars players regularly display it in the back of the opponent’s net.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Inside Minnesota Soccer.