The Portland Timbers New Logo


Portland Timbers unveiled their new logo on Saturday and it didn’t go quite they way the team wanted it to go.

The Timbers, who have been playing in various leagues since the early 1970’s, will begin play in Major League Soccer next season as an expansion franchise.

The team set up a public watch party in Portland’s Director Park to see the match and planned to use the captive audience of thousands to show the team’s new look. Timbers had a marketing campaign designed to slowly build interest in the re-branding by releasing a number of ‘video clues’ to show the connection between their classic look, a look established in 1975 when the team debuted in the old North American Soccer League.

Confusion in the front office, however, led to merchandisers in the city selling products featuring the new crest a day before it’s public unveiling at halftime of the US-England World Cup match.

News spread online and via twitter amongst fans who saw the logo before the unveiling and were not pleased with the results, many hoping it was a farce or a mistake.

The thousands who descended on Director Park were there to watch the World Cup match, not the unveiling, and their lack of interest combined with the Timbers Army outrage made for a dismal launch.

“I was stunned, I was absolutely stunned. I couldn’t believe this was the crest they had worked so hard upon for so many months and this was the end result.” said Kip Kesgard Timbers Army supporter and Oregonlive.com soccer correspondent told Inside Minnesota Soccer.

Original North American Soccer League Crest

“The reaction after the logo unveiling – I kind of would have expected more cheers but it was dead silent followed by boos. If it had been something we all expected we all would have said, wow! This just wasn’t it at all.”

The Timbers Army began to sing team songs while many other fans booed. The dismay eventually turned into a chanting chorus of “You f–ked up.”

Timber fans had been anticipating a new crest that they could be proud of and many feel that the clubs owner Merritt Paulson promised them just that.  In a recent letter, written to supporters, Paulson said,

“The Portland Timbers are not the typical USL-1 team, our history is not the typical pro U.S. soccer team history and you are not the typical fans.  We recognize the need to pay significant homage to our past.

As this relates to logo/colors etc: simply expect evolution, not wholesale change.  We will not get this wrong. Trust me.”

The Timbers Army, the main supporters group of the team, feels that trust has been mislaid.

USL Era Crest

“Merritt Paulson, owner of the Timbers had said on numerous occasions that with the new logo he was going to honor the legacy of the Timbers,” said Kesgard. “I keep looking at it and think – cartoonish. The words end up disrupting the bottom of the logo. It takes attention away from the ax and chevrons. It just doesn’t seem that finished.”

Rubbing salt in the wounds of the Timbers supporters is that longtime Pacific Northwest rival Vancouver Whitecaps, who will enter MLS next season along side Portland, unveiled their new logo, crest, uniform and sponsor in a series of events last week to great success.

Whitecaps fans had a chance to get to know the new logo and see it with the teams new colors, jersey and sponsor. ‘Caps fans seem pleased with the new direction of the crest.

Click Here to see Vancouver Whitecaps new Crest and Kit

Click Here to read Brian Quarstad’s Inside Minnesota Soccer article

Click Here to read Kip Kesgard’s Oregonlive.com article

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    […] EXPANSION TEAMS UNVEIL NEW LOOKS Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers have unveiled the gear, logo’s and branding they will sport going into their 2011 inaugural seasons in Major League Soccer To see the Vancouver look click here To see Portland’s new look click here […]

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