On January 16, 2013, NASL announced that an Indianapolis expansion team owned by Ersal Ozdemir, CEO of Keystone Group LLC, would join the league in 2014. Ozdemir named Peter Wilt as the team's first President and General Manager, this after the veteran American soccer executive had served in a consulting role to explore the viability of professional soccer in Indianapolis in the three months leading up to the January 2013 announcement.
Indy Eleven's vision is to create a team that is representative of Indiana and creates strong emotional connections with its fans. Those connections will be made with Indiana’s youth and adult soccer community and the active young adult urban and ethnic populations. The makeup of the team will reflect the community, so that it can live up to its slogan of "The World's Game, Indiana's Team". The club sold over 7,000 season tickets for its inaugural 2014 campaign.
The name and club colors were officially revealed to the public on April 25, 2013 during a ceremony held at Indianapolis' iconic Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Indy Eleven named former Indiana University standout, U.S. international and English Premier League and Major League Soccer veteran Juergen Sommer as its first Head Coach/Director of Soccer Operations on June 11, 2013.
On October 1, 2013 the team announced German goalkeeper, Kristian Nicht, as their first signing.
The name "Eleven" references the eleven men who will take to the field representing Indiana and also pays homage to Indiana's 11th Regiment Indiana Infantry in the American Civil War, whilst the navy colored checkered background is a nod to both Indianapolis' auto-racing culture and the Brickyard Battalion supporters group which is often credited to bringing pro soccer back in Indianapolis. Lady Victory from the Soldiers' and Sailors' monument is the focal point of the crest. The color scheme is the same as that of the civic flag of Indianapolis.
Predominantly red, white and blue, the jerseys unveiled on October 1, 2013, also feature a sublimated checker board pattern paying homage to Indianapolis' rich auto racing heritage centered around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The jerseys will be manufactured by Diadora and Honda is the shirt sponsor.