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CF Montreal: Thierry Henry compares Montreal Impact's exciting new rebrand to former club Arsenal

Thierry Henry
(Image credit: Getty)

MLS franchise Montreal Impact have a brand new identity: they're now called Club de Foot Montreal.

In an unveiling of the club's new brand, club president and CEO Kevin Gilmore and creative co-director Justin Kingsley talked about the new direction of the club stating, "In order to make an impact, we had to retire the Impact". 

The "Club de Foot" of the club's new title is designed to reflect the French-speaking city, as "foot" is the French shortening of "football". The word "football" has connotations with American football in North America, while "footie" has English-speaking connotations. 

CF Montreal also have a round new badge with arrows and M's. The arrows are reflective of the city's metro signs, while the overall badge forms a snowflake, representing the climate of Quebec. The snowflake is also a symbol for the diversity of the city coming together to form something much stronger. CF Montreal will still play in black and blue, with black playing a more predominant role in kits from now on.

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“People around the globe don’t know the name ‘Impact.’ It doesn’t resonate with them," Kingsley said of the name change. "I know Montreal resonates with them.”

“I was at Arsenal when we changed the crest and a lot of people were upset,” Henry chipped in to mention, from his home in London via video link. “When that happened, fans were going crazy, and it can take a minute for everyone to understand what is happening. … Some people were upset because they had tattoos of the old badge. Now, nobody talks about the crest anymore. It’s just normal.”

“It's important to understand, Arsenal was called 'Woolwich Arsenal' before,” Henry says of the club he scored 228 goals for. “The club moved, evolved, changed their logo. That doesn't mean they're going to win the title - it's got nothing to do with [that].”

"The fact that we brought in [former Belgian goalkeeper] Olivier [Renard as sporting director] and Thierry isn't a coincidence," Gilmore said. "That gives us visibility on a stage far greater than this city and this province. And this rebrand does that as well."

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Presumably, with one of the most iconic European footballers of all time as the manager, CF Montreal is better placed to become a European football fan's favourite MLS team? Especially with this slick new badge and a name that feels more accessible to a European football fan.

"I think our effort is to win over fans in general," Kevin Gilmore replied when FourFourTwo asked whether this whole rebrand could win Montreal more fans across the pond. "There's no reason why if you've got Man U fans... Montreal can't become their favourite Major League Soccer club."

"There's no reason why we can't be aspiring to do that - which we are doing. Obviously, we've got significantly more awareness now and tying our city name and the story behind the brand to our identity is important if we're going to do that."

The new MLS season is currently in doubt as to when it will kick off, over COVID-19.

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