A NOTE FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
On May 31, 2022,the Lakeland Tropics Futbol Club will officially be rebranded as, drum roll please….Swan City Soccer Club aka Swan City SC. Simultaneously, the now Swan City SC and the Florida Tropics SC will mutually conclude the marketing agreement between the two organizations.
Through Swan City SC’s strategic planning process, it was concluded that the Club should redirect its financial resources into programming. The change allows the greatest potential for future youth partnerships that will most enhance the Club and solidify opportunities to reach higher platforms.
“We have shared a successful affiliation with the Florida Tropics SC over the last four years. The decision to not extend our marketing agreement was difficult, but we see this change as an important step in concentrating our financial resources to develop youth partnerships that better provide a development pathway for our players to compete on still higher levels. We wish Florida Tropics SC success in the future and are committed to supporting the professional game in our City,” said Past President Yadira Holmes.
The marketing agreement was a financial arrangement formed in 2017, allowing Lakeland Futbol Club, now Swan City SC, usage of the Florida Tropics SC brand to align with the city’s professional indoor soccer team. Through the agreement, Lakeland Futbol Club paid an annual fee to utilize the name, logo and brand to become the Lakeland Tropics FC. Since the relationship, the Lakeland Tropics have continued their legacy of providing high quality resources to their players and enhancing top-level youth soccer programs in the Lakeland area. Although the youth organization will no longer have intellectual rights to the Florida Tropics SC assets, the youth club did propose an alliance partnership which would continue promotional support of the Florida Tropics SC and their events in exchange for mutual promotion as the city’s prominent youth club. Unfortunately, an agreement could not be reached.
“We want to thank the youth Club for their partnership over the past several years,” said Clay Roberts, Head Coach/Director of Soccer, Florida Tropics SC. “The partnership has been a success, and we look forward to working together in our community. The Florida Tropics brand will continue to be present and providing opportunities in our community.”
While the name, Swan City SC, is a change, the long-standing commitment to provide competitive recreational and travel team opportunities remains. For more than 25 years, this Club has sustained name changes and partnerships. This legacy will continue. Swan City SC will also enter a more formal, stronger partnership with the City of Lakeland and will continue its valued relationship with Polk County Sports and Recreation. The Club will promote PRIDE – Perseverance, Respect, and Integrity to Develop Excellence in youth both on and off the field.
Swan City SC (formerly Lakeland Tropics FC) programs will continue to wear the Tropics crest through the end of the current season (National Cup 2022).
The Swan City brand will be launched in phases with the logo reveal happening Monday, April 18. Our 2022-2024 kit reveal will occur on May 1, just in time for travel tryouts scheduled from May 2 – May 7. As well, new merchandise will go on sale in May.
Travel Tryouts will open later today! Tryouts will be May 2 through May 7, 2022 for all travel teams.
We value our membership and invite you to learn more about this change by reading the FAQ’s posted below or by visiting our website at lakelandtropicsfc.com.
About Swan City SC (formerly, the Lakeland Tropics FC), For more than 25 years, Swan City SC, formerly known as the Lakeland Tropics FC, has served the Lakeland community through the beautiful game of soccer. Swan City SC is a not-for-profit organization, committed to providing a superior soccer experience for all of the area’s youth by offering highly competitive recreational and travel team opportunities. This commitment is accomplished through an organization of volunteers and soccer professionals, who administer the training programs. We exemplify Perseverance, Respect, and Integrity as we Develop Excellence in youth.
Name Change & Re-Brand FAQs
Why the Change:
Q. What are the benefits to establishing our own brand?
A. Our Club has served the Lakeland community for over 25 years. Reestablishing ourselves as an independent, non-profit organization provides the opportunity to create a brand that resonates with our membership and our local community on a more personal level. This rebrand will allow our club the ability to exercise control over the use of our logo, name and brand on a local, regional and national level without restrictions that come with being tied to a single professional club.
As well, this rebrand will allow for the flexibility to expand our relationships and work with other professional and semi-professional clubs and leagues. This will, in turn, provide a broader range of opportunities on our player pathway for both boys and girls.
Lastly, this change will support our enhanced relationship with the City of Lakeland and Polk County Parks and Recreation, creating a more intent identity and community integration.
Q. What did the marketing agreement entail?
A. The marketing agreement was a financial exchange of assets and funds. On an annual basis, the youth club paid a per player fee for each travel player, as well as rent/ office fees to the Florida Tropics SC. In exchange, the youth club was granted permission to use the name and logo on all of its materials including youth kits, coaches kits, website, etc. We were also allocated 1 season ticket per player.
Q. Why did the organization choose to end the current marketing agreement?
A. This was a well-intended, thoughtful decision for the organization. After updating our strategic planning process, it was evident that the youth club needed to redirect its financial resources into its programming. Under this review, the club concluded that the benefits of operating its own brand and philosophy outweighed the financial cost of being tied so closely to a professional organization. This change allows the most potential for future youth partnerships that will most enhance the club, and solidify opportunities to reach higher platforms, such as ECNL-R, ECNL, MLS Next and the USL Academy.
Q. Will the rebrand affect our club structure?
A. Our directors of coaching, board, staff and all aspects of our internal operations will remain untouched. Even though we shared a name, our Club operated independently from Florida Tropics SC. The ONLY thing that will change is that we will no longer be in a financial agreement with the pro team for the use of the Florida Tropics SC assets (e.g. logo/crest and name).
Q. Will we still have a relationship with Florida Tropics SC?
A. We believe that support of the game is important in our community. We proposed to form an Alliance Partnership where we would continue to maintain strong relationships with key contacts within the Florida Tropics SC organization, without the financial obligation for use of the logo and name, and while maintaining our status as the prominent youth club in Lakeland. Through the Alliance, we would commit to continue to promote Florida Tropics SC games and events and would invite Tropics players to our key events throughout the year. Unfortunately, the Florida Tropics SC has declined this proposal. They have subsequently chosen to join with No Limits Soccer Club and have rebranded as Florida Tropics Academy. We know this may cause confusion. As a reminder, we are SWAN CITY SOCCER CLUB – the same Clus we were and have always been.
Name, Brand, Uniforms:
Q. What will our new name be?
A. After working with a branding team, and conducting focus groups with key stakeholders, we settled on Swan City Soccer Club, Inc. aka Swan City SC. The brand represents our City and gives us a unique identity across the state. It also allows for variations and potential partnerships. This brand belongs to all of us and adds character and identity to our Club, while promoting the unique and beautiful culture of our community.
Q. When will the new name/logo be announced?
A. Elements of the new brand will be rolled out in phases before the start of the Fall 2022 Recreation and Travel seasons. Our name launches TODAY! And we can share that our colors will be :
Q. When will we officially make the change over to the new name and logo?
A. We have begun the process of switching things over now. Teams will still play with their current kit for the remainder of the 2021-2022 season. We will begin registering teams for both interleague and travel under the new name beginning with 2022/2023 season tryouts and competitions.
Q. How much longer will we wear our Tropics uniforms?
A. We will wear our Tropics uniforms through the end of the 2021-2022 season (National Cup).
Q. Do I have to buy a new uniform?
A. Every two years players are required to buy new uniform sets. The 2022 season represents a uniform year, which means we will be introducing new recreation and travel kits for the 2022-2024 kit cycle. Our new kits will include the new brand identity and crest. These kits will be used for 2 years beginning in Fall 2022 and lasting through Summer 2024.
Q. Will there be any changes to the interleague (recreation) program?
A. We are always striving to improve our programs for all players. Our interleague program will continue at Lake Parker Park and Carter Road Park. Our teams will still compete in all the same regional events such as the Judges Cup Tournament and All Stars. Our older age groups will also continue regional season play. We will continue our strong relationships and partnerships with our neighbor clubs in North Lakeland, Auburndale, Bartow, Winter Haven, Lake Wales, and Davenport/Haines City.
All coaches and volunteers will still require the existing safety protocols for our interleague program – thorough background checks and safe sport certifications.
We will continue to provide our interleague coaches with training materials, support and guidance.
Q. Where will our interleague (recreation) teams play?
A. Our interleague (recreation) program will continue to practice and play at both Loyce Harpe/Carter Road Fields and Lake Parker Park.
Q. When will we officially make the change over to the new name and logo?
A. For our interleague (recreation) families, the changes will take effect when registering for Fall 2022 recreation play.
Q. Do we have to buy new uniforms and when?
A. For our interleague (recreation) families, we moved to an online ordering system for all player uniforms. Because this is a “uniform” year, and because of the name/crest change, you will be required to purchase the new interleague 2022-2024 kit. These kits are 2 year kits, and can be worn through the 2022-2024 seasons. You will need to purchase uniforms as soon as you register. All information will be available on our website.
Q. Will my club fees be affected?
A. Our interleague fees will not increase for the 2022/2023 season. We may, however, have to make adjustments, based on the market changes, to the structure of early, regular and late registration timelines. As a non-profit organization, we are committed to keeping our fees competitive in the marketplace. Our interleague fees support our field costs, insurance, safety requirements, equipment, and referee fees.
Leagues. Development and Player Pathways:
Q. Will our teams still compete in the same leagues?
A. Yes. Our teams will still compete in all the same league’s locally, regionally and nationally.
We will continue to be the ONLY Club in Polk County to offer advanced league play for travel team players through ECNL-R (girls), FCL- NPL, and Sunshine Conference Academy- Girls. We also have a myriad of other leagues we have access to through US Club Soccer and the Florida Youth Soccer Association (FYSA). Those leagues include EDP, GCF, USA, and CDL.
We also continue to work on expanding our league platforms including Sunshine Academy Conference – Boys and ECNL-R (boys).
Why is this important?
To be at your best you have to play the best and this is the best path to advance to the high school and college level, and get noticed.
Q. Will our teams continue to practice/play at the same locations?
A. Yes! We are thrilled to share that we are finalizing a long-term agreement with the City of Lakeland to continue practice and play at the same great locations.
As well, we will retain our strong partnership with Polk County and continue our programs at Loyce Harpe, Carter Road Park.
These locations offer the same convenient and flexible options for our families, with added enhancements for the future.
Q. What about player pathways and opportunities?
A. We are committed to increasing the opportunities for our athletes to pursue play across the state, out-of-state and ultimately, into college. We also offer chances for college recruitment, ID camps, out of state showcase opportunities and more. Currently, we are in discussion with the USL-2 and/or USL-W league on creating a pathway for our players here locally.
Q. When are travel tryouts?
A. Travel tryouts will be held: May 2nd through May 7th. When registering for tryouts, you will be directed to Leaguapps and register under the Swan City SC name and brand. Girls registration is HERE. Boys registration is HERE.
Cost and Value
Q. Will my club fees be affected?
A. As a non-profit organization, we are committed to keeping our fees competitive in the marketplace. We will continue to provide highly licensed coaches, offer higher league play than any Club in the county, AND your travel fee includes three (3) tournaments per season. Other Clubs charge these fees separately during the season. We do not.
As well, each year, we do a market study to determine how we align with competing clubs locally, and regionally. This study includes evaluation of costs associated with programming. Our market study will be completed before travel tryouts in May. We will announce any club fee changes prior to the start of travel tryouts.
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