Senators, get ready for a merchandising war with Ottawa Fury FC.
The name “already associates Ottawa — across Canada and the United States — with a winning culture, success on the field, stability off the field, and an attractive brand of soccer,” Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group partner John Pugh said after unveiling the name of the new North American Soccer League team at a press conference Tuesday night at Algonquin College.
“Football is the name of the world’s game and yes, we’re a football club.”
Young soccer stars, donning Fury T-shirts, cheered on each speaker at the event.
More than 4,000 submissions were received in the naming campaign by OSEG. In the end, the group decided to stick with the Fury name used by Pugh’s women’s and (lower-level) men’s sides and youth academy.
Now, fans can take part in selecting the team logo; details will be announced in the coming weeks.
“This is Ottawa’s team and it’s really important for our fans to feel and be part of it,” said Pugh.
The Fury will likely be part of the 2014 NASL season, playing at Lansdowne Park.
“Ottawa’s becoming the place for sports in Canada,” said Orléans Coun. Bob Monette.
The league spans from Puerto Rico to Edmonton, NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson said at the event.
“I thought I’d get boos on that. OK, we’re going to work on the rivalry between Ottawa and Edmonton. We have time to do that,” Peterson said, drawing laughs.
The league will have nearly 600,000 fans attending games this season, said Peterson, noting that figure could grow by 200,000 in 2014 with the addition of Ottawa, Virginia and Indianapolis.
Peterson praised the OSEG team.
“Having that kind of leadership — people who are do-ers, people who can lead and get things done — is a huge advantage,” he said.
The Fury women’s program won the W-League North American championship last summer, while the men’s program has captured division titles in three of the past four seasons.
The Fury’s youth academy has seen its boys program ranked 1st in North America over the past two years among Super Y-League clubs.
The Fury FC hopes to build on that reputation.
“Whether it’s games here or games around the world, Ottawa’s on the map with us right now, and we’re excited,” said Peterson.
The NASL begins its third season in April.