TAMPA, Fla. - After spending their first 24 seasons in USL League Two (formerly Premier Development League) as the Mid-Michigan Bucks and Michigan Bucks, the historic franchise will continue their journey in the league as the Flint City Bucks.
The club officially unveiled their new name, color scheme and branding on Wednesday during a press conference in Michigan after announcing their move to Flint back on Oct. 30.
Over 1,000 online entries were received in the franchise’s “Name the Team” contest, and the Bucks worked Mindy Prusa, Director of Flint’s Whaley Children’s Center, and local photographer Kayce McClure to help decide on a winner.
“Our children were so honored and thrilled to be a part of this historic decision for Flint,” Prusa said. “They took this very seriously and came to a group decision that we think reflects the proud history of both Flint and our new soccer team.”
Overall, the Bucks were thrilled with the result of the contest, as well as the the opportunity to work closely with the children from Whaley Children's Center.
“We were overwhelmed with the amount of fans who participated in our contest,” said team Chairman Dan Duggan. “We had many entries that could have worked well for our team and the city. Kayce and the children at the Whaley Center had a tough job in deciding on a winner, but they came through with a great choice.”
He continued, "We expect much more of the same consistency that has been the trademark of the Bucks legacy. We look forward to competing in several competitions beginning this May with only one focus; winning. As a club, we look forward to becoming the first team to eclipse 300 wins since joining the PDL (now USL League Two) back in 1996."
The new name – Flint City Bucks – pulls from European convention using the name of the town followed by the word City. Considering the impact Flint has had on Michigan and U.S. history, it is prominent in the team’s name. The colors of the team – blue, red and gold – also pay homage to three distinct contributors to the team and its city.
*Blue signifies the decades-long dominance of “blue collar” workers who are the backbone of Flint, its work ethic and economy. Blue also signifies the renaissance of the 142-mile Flint River, which was recently named one of the first State of Michigan Water Trails. The renovation and rebirth of Flint River’s pathway through the city – adding safe recreational activities and events – illustrates the exciting and changing vitality of Flint.
*Red harkens to historic red brick-lined Saginaw Street, which winds through historic downtown Flint. The brick-lined streets have witnessed Billy Durant’s first meeting to invent General Motors at the Dresden Hotel as well as meetings held by David Buick, Walter Chrysler, Alfred Sloan and Albert Champion. They also served as a personal test track for Louis Chevrolet.
*Gold nods to Kettering University, which took ownership and renovated historic Atwood Stadium where the Flint City Bucks will play all of their home matches.
The team’s new logo intertwines all of these aspects, including the arrowhead that has long symbolized other prominent Flint businesses, athletic teams, service organizations and even the Flint Police Department. The arrowhead can be documented as far back as the 1800s when the Chippewa Indians resided in the area. Woodward Movement Creative, a design, printing and branding agency, teamed up with local freelance designer, Jesse Augustine of Grand Blanc, MI to create the new revamped logo.
“It was important for us to immerse our team into the history of Flint,” said team President Costa Papista. “Retaining a part of the club’s former name was also important, to preserve the connection to a team that has been the most successful franchise in the history of the USL Two – formerly the Premier Development League. We are very grateful for Kayce’s choice, the Whaley Children and all of those who took an active role in helping us rebrand our team to fit in with the history of Flint and the sport of soccer. We would like to give a special shout out to Mindy Prusa for all of her help and the amazing work she does at Whaley’s.”