With Opening Day closing in, here are three questions for the Chicago Fire ahead of a 2020 season that follows an utter revamp in one of the busiest offseasons in all MLS.
Hello and welcome to the first edition of the 2020 Chicago Fire midweek training session, a weekly series in order to try to create context and provide analysis for what may sometimes seem like a meaningless and futile soccer team.
After only making about halfway through the season before admittedly getting psyched out by the rumors of a full rebrand, I’m back again this season to hopefully help you all to keep track of the storylines and things to look out for going into every week.
So, let’s get things started with three things to look for going into the season.
3. Another rebrand on the horizon?
It’s been overdone, it’s been talked about everywhere, but how much is the new look to the Chicago Fire going to affect the club? As it stands, this is still incredibly unclear. I don’t think we’ll see anything definitive until the home opener against Atlanta United on March 21st, but there are reports coming in that there have been somewhere around 30,000 to 40,000 tickets sold for that game.
This sounds nice, but the tricky thing about marketing is that it’s about perception, not reality. And right now, the perception coming from social media is that people are still very angry months later. There are murmurs that new owner Joe Mansueto has begun to take steps to change the current logo into a better designed one for next season, but until something like that is confirmed, people will still be mad. Every tweet and move by the club is marred by comments about the logo, thus how tired the subject is.
But even outside of the logo itself, there has been plenty of concerns about other pieces of branding. The distinct lack of red as a primary color in either official kit this season and bringing in Lombard natives, The Plain White T’s, cannot distract from the fact that the new away kit really is a plain white t-shirt. Though, that’s the one small thing that fans have enjoyed.
The club’s media team has done an amazing job trying to sell the product that they have been given and you can see the appreciation from a lot of the supporters over the presentation of player announcements. So it is not all bad. But while this storyline will hopefully go dormant over the course of this season, it will be interesting to see how it carries over into the next offseason with the rumors of a reactionary rebrand coming.