USL’s Arizona United File Trademark for “Phoenix Rising FC”

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by BILL REESE

Is pro soccer in Arizona headed for its second re-branding in three years?

Empire of Soccer has discovered that the USL’s Arizona United SC has filed a trademark for “Phoenix Rising FC.” The word mark and an accompanying badge were filed on November 14 but have only recently appeared on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s website.

Pro soccer came to Phoenix in 2012 when USL-Pro granted a franchise to BDR Sports, who launched Phoenix FC for the 2013 season. The “Wolves,” as they were nicknamed, lasted only one season in the USL-Pro before the franchise rights were revoked by the league due to a number of fiscal mismanagement issues. The team folded in March 2014 and were reformed the following day as Arizona United SC with owner Kyle Eng at the helm. Eng would later attract celebrity minority shareholders, including acclaimed DJ Diplo and Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz.

This past summer, it was reported by EoS’ Anthony J. Merced that Eng was out as United’s majority owner, with Berke Bakay, the CEO of Kona Grill, taking over as majority owner of the club.

Arizona United finished the 2016 season 9-14-7, 13th place in a 15-team USL Western Conference. The club have not qualified for the playoffs in any of their three seasons of operation, nor had the previous incarnation of Phoenix FC in their single season of play.