DIVISION II PRO: New Second Tier Pro League to Fill Gap in Women’s Game
April 8, 2021 — this is the day that marks the birth of a new women’s professional soccer league – the Women’s Independent Soccer League, or WISL.
WISL is a league created by women for women.
Branding Laden with Equity Symbolism: The league’s ownership group unveiled its name, branding, and symbolism across its varied social channels.
It is about creating more opportunity for women.
“Today there are only ten pro teams for women, that means there are only ten head coaches …. Now there will be more opportunities for women,” says WISL Managing Director Carrie Taylor who is leading the league’s development. “One of our goals is to have the league run by women who are hired because of their merits.”
“This is an opportunity to rise above.”Carrie Taylor, WISL Managing Director
“We are building numerous new opportunities with our ground-breaking pro women’s league,” said Taylor. “WISL will showcase our merits, our diversity, and our belief in the power of women on and off the field.”
The name Women’s Independent Soccer League is both an acronym and a verb. There is symbolism in the ability to “wisl” – to one’s own tune (individuality), while she works (flow), in harmony with others (solidarity), and in celebration of progress (legacy).
According to the WISL website, “INDEPENDENT WOMEN have worn the cloak of a lone warrior for far too long. We’ve beaten the odds of inequality to pursue our dreams. We’ve gone against the grain, proving stereotypes wrong while shattering glass boxes.”
Inspiring. Simple. Direct.
There is also a lot of symbolism in the WISL imagery.
All the design elements come together into a mark that embodies the essence of WISL’s idea of an independent league with an empowering culture.
- Birds symbolize freedom across cultures. The bluebird represents self-efficacy, joy, prosperity, fulfillment, growth, and intellect.
- Her wings outstretched make an equality sign, a gesture of confidence and empowerment. She takes flight, breaking free and soaring above while reshaping the frame in the process.
- The “I” in WISL is emphasized with an upward arrow incorporated into the equality sign to symbolize rising above through an independent approach.
- The deeper blues reference the rich colors of the bluebird as well as self-efficacy, inspiration, and health. Sky blue more literally represents flying free in the sky and open opportunity beyond the glass ceiling. The green accent symbolizes prosperity and freshness, alive and well, nourishing healthy living.
Sanctioning from U.S. Soccer will determine when WISL begins play.
Committed to advancing the women’s game with quality over quantity, WISL is targeting play in 2022 and will operate as an open system free of franchises, franchise fees, and territorial rights.
“In the coming weeks we’ll be announcing independent clubs as they join the movement and become members of WISL,” Taylor says.
“This will enable growth opportunities at all levels – both in clubs and the league – for individuals that want to help WISL with its mission. WISL, and everything it stands for, will forever change women’s soccer,” added Taylor.
Read: A TIME TO RISE – THE REASONS WE NEED A SECOND LEVEL WOMEN’S PRO SOCCER LEAGUE
Discover more about WISL at WISLeague.com, as well as on Instagram and Facebook (@WISLeague) and Twitter (@WISL_League).