Indy Eleven Taking Soccer to the Next Level in Indianapolis
INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, April 25, 2013) Ninety-nine days after coming to fruition, the team born as Indy Pro Soccer today announced its official transformation to the Indy Eleven during a ceremony held at the iconic Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Indy Eleven Owner Ersal Ozdemir also unveiled the North American Soccer League (NASL) expansion side’s colors – red, white and navy blue – and crest during the event to the roaring approval of hundreds of the team’s supporters that gathered to celebrate the historic day for soccer in the State of Indiana.
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, Indiana War Memorial Executive Director Brigadier General J. Stewart Goodwin, USAF (Ret.) and Indiana Soccer Association President Murray Clark joined Ozdemir and Indy Eleven President Peter Wilt at today’s ceremony to usher in a new era for Indianapolis’ professional soccer team.
“The last three months have proven to be insightful and emotional for the organization and our fans, whose input we truly appreciated. We believe the inspiration and meaning behind the Indy Eleven identity will serve as a just reward for their loyalty for years to come,” said Ozdemir. “If our fans can bring even half of the passion, emotion and creativity involved in this process into next season, the Indy Eleven will undoubtedly have the best home-field advantage in the NASL.”
“The fans of this team spoke loudly through the ‘Name the Team’ promotion that they wanted a traditional name that connected to the history of Indianapolis. The Indy Eleven is traditional, yet not trite. It’s unique, yet not gimmicky. It feels both fresh and historic,” explained Wilt. “Indiana War Memorial Collection Manager Donna Schmink first brought the 11th Regiment to our attention, and it was her passion for and knowledge of the colorful 11th Zouave Regiment that led to the team’s naming.”
The Indy Eleven identity is rich with symbolism, beginning with the name itself. Indy Eleven is a refreshing nod towards club names that evoke traditional soccer culture, referencing the eleven men taking to the field of play in a fashion that is unique to the professional soccer landscape in the United States.
At the same time, Indy Eleven pays homage to the state’s history as a reference to Indiana’s 11th Regiment in the Civil War, which was founded on today’s date, April 25th, in 1861. The 11th Indiana Regiment posted a significant contribution under the Command of Colonel Lew Wallace, who later became the Adjutant General for Indiana and authored the literary masterpiece “Ben Hur.”
“The Indiana War Memorial Commission welcomes the Indy Eleven to the city in the United States with more acreage honoring Veterans than any other – and is second only to Washington D.C. in the number of monuments that honor our service members,” said Brigadier General Goodwin. “Eleven is a significant number in Indiana history, and in that vein we wish the Indy Eleven many victories on their field of battle.”
Indy Eleven’s use of Victory as the focal point of the team’s crest is pending approval from the IWM Commission at its next quarterly meeting, and the club would like to thank the Commission for its assistance in facilitating the team name launch event today the city’s magnificent Monument Circle underneath the statue of Victory herself. The Victory-adorned crest will be worn over the players’ hearts, serving as a constant reminder of the city the team represent and the goal the club strives to achieve on the field.
“Today’s announcement makes clear that Indy Eleven is an organization that fully embraces the history and spirit of Indianapolis,” said Mayor Ballard. “As the latest professional sports team to call Indianapolis home, Indy Eleven will continue to build our reputation as a top destination for visitors and business, and as we’ve seen countless times before, we know that sports bring more economic vitality to our city.”
Indy Eleven’s color scheme and the circled star at the point of the team crest echo that of the civic flag of Indianapolis, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in May. With the adoption of these symbols, the club hopes to represent the staunch civic pride fostered by local residents through having its players, staff and fans drape themselves in the red-white-and-blue of Indianapolis and the Eleven.
“The Indy Eleven name and colors certainly reflect the team’s connection with the city and, more importantly, the commitment with each Hoosier that makes Indianapolis and the rest of the state so very special,” said Indiana Soccer Association Executive Director Dave Guthrie. “Indiana Soccer would like to thank Ersal Ozdemir for his passion for the game and congratulate Peter Wilt on building the framework that resulted in the return of professional soccer to Indianapolis. We are very excited to continue working with Indy Eleven towards the development of a partnership that can bolster both the promotion of the sport and the development of children across the State of Indiana.”
The checkered background of the crest might at first seem a nod to Indianapolis’ longtime auto-racing culture, but reaches deeper than that as a connection to the Brickyard Battalion, the supporters group that proved vital in helping bring professional soccer back to the Circle City. Indy Eleven and the Brickyard Battalion also share another important link in Patrick Cummings, the Indianapolis-based graphic designer and BYB member that designed the team’s crest.
“It was an amazing honor to design the Indy Eleven crest and identity,” Cummings said. “Working with Ersal and Peter was truly a pleasure, and from the very beginning I could tell this would be a great project because they were a team that understood the process and knew good design. I believe we ended up with an identity that makes Indianapolis proud and will stand the test of time.”
In large part thanks to the grass roots efforts of the Brickyard Battalion, Indy Eleven crossed the 3,000 threshold in season ticket deposits on Wednesday. Nearly a year away from the Indy Eleven’s first official contest, the soccer-starved fans of the Hoosier State are already indicating the support of their club will be like no other team nationwide.
In conjunction with the team’s new moniker and marks, Indy Eleven has rolled out a new-look website at www.IndyEleven.com, which features an online store component where fans can order the first items of official club merchandise. Indy Eleven has claimed new pages for its popular Twitter (@IndyEleven) and Facebook (IndyEleven) homes, and also debuted new Instagram (IndyEleven) and Vine (IndyEleven) accounts during today’s ceremony to further bolster its vibrant social media presence.
Fans can show their support of the Eleven by reserving 2014 season tickets with a deposit of only $25 per season ticket. Full season ticket packages will range from $135 to $390 and include tickets to 15 home games. The number of season tickets will be limited, so fans are encouraged to place deposits early to assure the best seats available for the club’s inaugural 2014 campaign.
About Indy Eleven
Born Indy Pro Soccer after launching as the as the 12th member of the North American Soccer League January 16, 2013, Indy Eleven established its permanent identity 99 days later on the 152nd anniversary of the establishment of the 11th Indiana Regiment during the Civil War on April 25, 1861. The NASL is a professional soccer league established in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. The NASL member teams are: Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, FC Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, New York Cosmos, Minnesota Stars FC, Puerto Rico Islanders, San Antonio Scorpions FC and the 2012 champion Tampa Bay Rowdies. Indy Eleven, Ottawa Fury and Virginia Cavalry will begin play in 2014. For more information about Indy Eleven, visit www.IndyEleven.com. Fans can also follow Indy Eleven online via the IndyEleven handle on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Vine pages.