The ownership group, originally identified as Orlando Pro Soccer, was announced on March 4, 2010, and was initially affiliated with the Orlando Titans National Lacrosse League team. However, the Titans ran into financial difficulties. Steve Donner left the Titans club after the 2010 NLL season to focus on the soccer effort. In October 2010, the Orlando Pro Soccer USL rights were purchased by Phil Rawlins, a board member of English Premier League club Stoke City, who moved the Austin Aztex organization to Orlando. The team was announced on October 25, 2010. Rawlins stated at the press conference that he intends to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Orlando "within 3-5 years", and intends to bring international matches to the city as well. Rawlins is President and majority owner of the club's ownership group, Orlando Sports Holdings. Also in the group is Brendan Flood, a board member of English Championship side Burnley. Steve Donner will act as CEO. Rawlins and Donner announced that the Aztex organization would remain intact in Orlando, with Adrian Heath being retained as manager and most of the team's players returning as well.
Colors and badge
The logo was unveiled during local morning news on Orlando TV station WOFL at 7:00am EST on December 16, 2010, and was officially launched at 10:00am with the team's website.
The club adopted the nickname "Lions" from previous uses of the nickname in Orlando, particularly the Orlando Lions. The colors are shades of red, purple and gold, and are the same colors used by Serie A club ACF Fiorentina (which is not involved with Orlando City). The colors used represent pride in city and team.
The branding was developed by Dixon Minear Design Marketing, the same firm that created the original branding for the Orlando Magic.
Their home kit, white shirt with red shoulders and solid white shorts, was unveiled at their inaugural home friendly, and used without a kit sponsor through the 2011 Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic. Their away kit consists of a red shirt with white armpits and solid red shorts. At the home kit unveiling, they also announced Orlando Health as their kit sponsor. Their kit brand is Umbro.
The club has three active supporters groups. The largest and oldest of these is "The Ruckus", a group whose basis was formed in 2009 as the "Orlando Soccer Supporters Club" without an affiliation to any particular soccer team. There is also the "Iron Lion Firm", which separated from The Ruckus prior to the start of City's first season. A third group, "The O-Town Hooligans", is an independent club founded in southwest Polk County.
In 2011, Orlando City will air several games locally on Bright House Sports Network, and two home games will appear nationally on FOX Soccer Channel as part of USL Pro's broadcasting contract. All home games and many away games are broadcast online via USL Live, with Marc Daniels and Scott Adams of local radio station WHOO providing play-by-play for home-game broadcasts. Daniels and Adams also co-host a weekly radio program for the team, "OCS Live", on WHOO every Thursday night at 6:00pm along with team communications director Adam Soucie.
Their May 14, 2011, home match was broadcast on radio in Spanish by WIWA "VIVA 1160". The match was used as a "test broadcast"; it is unknown if they will air further games.