January 20 – Canada’s MLS franchise based in Montreal will start the 2021 season with a new name, changing its 28-year moniker from Montreal Impact Club de Foot Montréal (CF Montréal).
Montreal Impact have played for nine seasons in the MLS, having started in The American Professional Soccer League (APSL) – a professional league with teams from the US and later Canada that was formed in 1990.
“I love the Impact. This is a club and a passion project that I started along with only three full-time employees 28 years ago. And it’s hard to let go of things you love,” owner Joey Saputo said in Montreal’s live-streamed unveiling. “But here’s the reality. To make an impact, we need to retire the Impact. The Montreal Impact will always be that local club that made global strides, and all that, we can be proud of. In fact, that is what this vision is all about. Building a collective.”
The club’s feeling was that it had outgrown the ‘Impact’ part of its name. Club president and CEO Kevin Gilmore said at the rebranding launch: “I asked Joey what the Impact name meant. He wanted to have an impact on our sport, in the city, in this province, to which I responded, mission accomplished.”
The move to a French name “was always going to be”, a said Gilmore. It retains a difference from the more tradition FC and recognises the region’s French heritage, as well as its head coach Thierry Henry and sporting director Olivier Renard.
“Football is more established than ever in Montreal, and its history, which dates to the late 1800s, continues to evolve with this announcement. We wanted to connect our identity even more strongly to that of our city. We were inspired by Montréal and its supporters to create this local Montreal brand image, made by Montrealers, to state that we are here to stay”, said the co-creative director of Club de Foot Montréal, Justin Kingsley.
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