A full crowd was in attendance Thursday, November 15 in the Velvet Underground room of the Hard Rock Café in downtown Atlanta to see what the future had in store for the city’s only professional soccer team, the Atlanta Silverbacks.
On September 11, Silverbacks Chairman Boris Jerkunica announced that the organization would be giving fans the opportunity to decide the team’s name for the upcoming 2013 season. For the past two months, an internet campaign, “Decision 2012”, began to help determine whether the Silverbacks would be retaining their current team name, bringing back the Atlanta Chiefs; Atlanta’s previous pro soccer team from the 1960s’-80s’, or the Atlanta Football Club, a name of a more European-style.
After thousands of votes were tallied and a few hours of waiting, Silverbacks General Manager Andy Smith made the announcement that the Atlanta Silverbacks were here to stay.
Smith also declared a logo contest to begin. Fans will have until December 3 to submit logo designs on the Silverbacks’ Facebook page. The logo with the most “likes” will move to the final round. In the final round, the fan logo will be put against the team’s current logo and a logo that the team staff will have designed. Voting for the final three logos will last from December 3 until January 2. The Silverbacks will then reveal the new logo at a party and location to be announced.
“One of the big things we’re looking forward to next season is the new format.”Atlanta Silverbacks International Counsel Scott Moran said. “Hopefully the fans will respond to the new model and we will be able to bring more people into Silverbacks Park.”
The new model Moran refers to is a change in the regular season schedule the North American Soccer League (NASL) is adopting. Starting in 2013, there will be an opening season from March to June. There will be a break in the middle in July, with a second season resuming in August to November. The team with the best record at the end of June will be named champion of the first regular season and the team with the best record in November will be crowned the second season’s champion. The two teams will play at the season’s end for the NASL Soccer Bowl, thus eliminating the playoffs.
Season tickets for the 2013 season are currently on sale, and can be purchased through the Silverbacks Box Office at 404-969-4900 or [email protected]
James I. Pressley, a Sports DeKalb sports marketing intern, is a senior at Morehouse College who takes courses in the school’s Journalism and Sports Program and is a member of the Maroon Tiger tennis team.