San Jose's oldest pro sports team has a new look.
In a nod to the 40-year anniversary of the club, the San Jose Earthquakes on Thursday unveiled their new kits for 2014, including a throwback all-red away shirt which used to be donned by Earthquakes back in their inaugural 1974 season.
The 2014 Earthquakes gear prominently features a new logo reminiscent of the club's historic crest that was also released at the brand unveiling at San Pedro Square Market in downtown San Jose.
Other elements on the shirts include an "EST 1974" on the back of the neck on the traditional blue home jersey as well as "San Jose '74," "#neversaydie" and "40th Anniversary" inscriptions on the neck tape of the red away jersey.
Following the unveiling of the new team logo, president David Kaval penned the following letter:
Dear Earthquakes Fans,
Tonight we celebrated a momentous occasion for Earthquakes soccer here in San Jose by reunifying the club’s 40 years of history with the unveiling a new crest and club pillars. We have been working toward this event for the past two years and we feel that we have established an identity that truly represents what we are all about – a club built on blue-collar work ethic and a full commitment to giving back to the community that it represents.
From the start, this project was not about designing a logo, but rather a full examination of who we are. We spent over a year talking with fans, former players and community members and asking them what the Earthquakes meant to them.
Through these conversations and a thorough review of the club’s history on and off the pitch starting in 1974, we identified three pillars that will serve as the foundation of this club moving forward.
Unity. Devotion. Heritage.
Forty years ago, a group of soccer pioneers, led by Milan Mandaric, started the Quakes right here in the Santa Clara Valley. It was a community that was coming of age and transitioning from a sleepy agricultural town to a budding metropolis that is now the capital of Silicon Valley. The organization was built on these three brand pillars. Values that have been in the DNA of the players, front office, and fans ever since, but have not always been properly acknowledged.
When building the logo, we wanted to make sure that we infused these three pillars into our crest to truly express this club’s identity. We have created a logo that reflects the powerful history of this club, the commitment to our community and the devotion of our fans and players.
While we have had great success in all three eras of Earthquakes soccer, NASL, WSA and MLS, we have also faced a lot of adversity in our 40 years. From the NASL folding to the horrific relocation to Houston, our devotion and passion for the club has been put to the test. Despite all the obstacles and adversity, we as a club and community have never given up. Our hardship has made us appreciate what we have even more and has deepened our commitment and devotion to being a member of the Quakes family.
And now we are ready to move forward together into a new era of Earthquakes soccer. Tonight we have unveiled a new logo that fully represents our club, and soon we will be moving into our own stadium where we can celebrate the sport that we love together.
Finally, we want to say thank you to the most passionate and devoted fans in professional sports. We could not have gotten here without you and we are excited for the next 40 years of Earthquakes soccer.
Forward As One,
San Jose Earthquakes media services contributed to this report