May 13, 2022
Michigan, welcome to the Simulation Football League. The St. Louis Gladiators completed their move north to Detroit today with a re-brand to the Motor City V8’s, celebrating the automotive history in Detroit. It was also announced that Bank Michigan would be a part of supporting the team moving forward as a team sponsor.
Majority owner Colin Northrup and the Northrup family wanted to move the team closer to home to localize a SFL franchise to their community and had an opportunity to partner with Bank Michigan, which people can use to bank online anywhere in the country.
“The idea of relocating started to percolate my head when I observed the Florida Storm move from Alaska to Fort Lauderdale and the Tallahassee Pride rebrand as the Kings in their move to Jacksonville,” said majority owner Colin Northrup. “I became fascinated with the idea of bringing the Simulation Football League to the state of Michigan. After 18 seasons, I believed the time was right as the franchise had some difficulty expanding our market presence in St. Louis. The big opportunity came when Bank Michigan offered to be a corporate sponsor and pay the costs of rebranding. I have enjoyed our time in St. Louis and have many wonderful memories. I look forward to creating new memories as we move into Season 19 and beyond in Detroit with the Motor City V8’s.”
The Bank Michigan partnership with the team includes supporting the rebranding and naming rights to the Motor City V8’s new home stadium.
“I’m proud that Bank Michigan can support the new Motor City V8’s and the ownership group’s new chapter in Detroit,” said Rick Northrup, President and CEO of Bank Michigan. “Detroit is a fabulous sports town and the V8’s will now contribute to its storied sports history. Helping bring the SFL to Detroit and being a part of bringing the Motor City V8 franchise here to Michigan is an honor for me and the team at Bank Michigan.”
The Motor City V8’s brand features double blue (slate and sky blue) with orange and gray accents. Colin Northrup’s service dog, Denver, was incorporated into the brand with his head out the window, with a football helmet on for safety, helping to lead the team into a new era. The brand also includes the V8 engine for which the team is named for, and ‘Motor City’ marks decked out in team colors.
“After putting out some feelers, we found the perfect designer to incorporate our ideas into the rebrand,” said team minority owner Duane Schindler. “What really makes me proud of what the designer accomplished is that this rebrand embodies not only the spirit of the city he lives in but more importantly it’s all about Colin and his personal tastes. His favorite car, his dad’s favorite engine, his service dog as the mascot, and a vibrant funny, loving logo that’s All-American at heart. That’s Colin in a nutshell and I love how this rebrand truly makes it his team.”
Motor City has finished .500 or better three of the last four seasons, led by Head Coach and minority owner Andrew O’Reilly who will help lead the team on the field in its next chapter.
“When I imagine Detroit, I see a city built and thriving by industry, lead by the strong people who work day in and day out,” said minority owner Andrew O’Reilly. “That is the type of culture I want put into our coaching philosophy. We are a team that will prosper; not by the efforts of one man, but from all of us in the locker room. Each day, we all contribute to our success and to the culture as a team. We are strong. We are a gritty team that wears our hearts on our sleeves and plays with determination each down. Detroit is the prime city that mirrors who we are as a team both on and off the field.”
Motor City’s Season 19 schedule will be released with the rest of the league’s 28 teams on June 9. The first V8’s season will begin at the SFL Convention in Las Vegas on Monday, July 11.