Another season, another change for the area’s National Women’s Soccer League team.
The club will now be referred to OL Reign after branding as Reign FC last season and Seattle Reign FC before that. The rebranding includes new colors — red, white, and blue — with a new badge that features a tongue-wagging lion and is trimmed in gold.
OL Reign made the announcement Friday, stating the look and name marries its history as an NWSL charter team with its new ownership, France’s OL Groupe. The latter is based in Lyon and owns the famed Olympique Lyonnais, whose blue, red and gold colors appear in the city’s coat of arms.
The lion is a sacred symbol of Lyon that dates to 1320, but the current version was created in 1859.
“The acquisition of Reign FC by OL Groupe brought together two organizations with the shared ambition to be the best in the world,” OL Reign CEO Bill Predmore said in a team statement. “Our new name symbolizes the aspirations of our collective organization. I believe the new name shows a deep respect and reverence for what our club and our supporters have built over the past seven years. At the same time, the new name provides an authentic connection to the traditions, ceremony, grandeur and spectacle of European football, while looking forward to a future fueled by our shared desire to bring greatness and glory to our city, to our region and to our supporters.”
Predmore and his wife Teresa founded the Seattle Reign FC in 2012. The club first played its matches at Starfire Sports in Tukwila and moved to Memorial Stadium at Seattle Center in 2014.
Last season the Reign relocated to Tacoma and dropped “Seattle” from its name. OL Reign will play at Cheney Stadium this season, but a new soccer-specific venue in Tacoma is in the works.
OL Reign begins the 2020 NWSL season at the Washington Spirit on April 18.