From Emmy-Winning TV Producer Mark Burnett
NEW YORK & LOS ANGELES (October 6, 2021) – Aiming to bring audiences even closer to the world’s most popular sport and fastest-growing sports league in North America, MGM Television and Major League Soccer (MLS) are teaming up to produce the ultimate sports competition series, “WELCOME TO THE TEAM (w/t).”
The project, currently in development, will be a rarity for major professional sports teams. The series will provide viewers unique insights into the journey of a group of players from around the globe as they compete for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join Charlotte Football Club – the newest MLS expansion team based in Charlotte, N.C. debuting in 2022. Charlotte FC is owned by David Tepper and is part of Tepper Sports & Entertainment, which also includes Bank of America Stadium and the Carolina Panthers.
MGM’s Mark Burnett and Barry Poznick will serve as executive producers on the series.
“With unparalleled access to top athletes trying to earn a spot on a major league sports team, ‘WELCOME TO THE TEAM (w/t)’ will be the definitive sports competition series,” said MGM’s Worldwide Television Chairman Mark Burnett, who has produced some of the most legendary programs of this genre in history, including “Survivor,” “The Voice,” and “Shark Tank.”
Added Barry Poznick, President of Unscripted Television and Orion Television at MGM: “Putting competitors through their paces is something we have done for survivors, singers and entrepreneurs. Now we are working with Major League Soccer and Charlotte FC to showcase professional soccer players who will stop at nothing to prove they have what it takes to be the last athlete standing.”
The series will provide 24/7 access as the players live and train together while being put to the test to prove they have what it takes to become part of the club’s inaugural roster. The group of players will be scouted and selected by Charlotte FC, led by the club’s Sporting Director Zoran Krneta. Hardcore soccer fans will have a rare and exclusive look behind the scenes as they experience rigorous training through elite-level drills and face intense competition in games. Krneta will also lead a panel of judges alongside Charlotte FC President Nick Kelly, and a rotating panel of soccer legends and celebrity fans, who will evaluate the footballers throughout the series. Based on the results, players will be eliminated from consideration at the end of episodes before a group of finalists reach the season finale where one player will be awarded a spot to play for Charlotte FC.
“Major League Soccer is excited about this innovative project to introduce our newest club to MLS fans, and to do it with MGM, one of the biggest names in reality television, only adds to the opportunity” said Seth Bacon, MLS SVP, Media. “We believe this program will showcase MLS to new fans and provide our existing fans an even closer look at our league and players.”
“At Charlotte FC, we’re very invested in providing soccer players across the world the opportunity to be part of a great organization where they can grow and develop as professionals,” said Charlotte FC Owner David Tepper. “By working with MGM Television and Major League Soccer to be the first MLS club featured in this new and groundbreaking series, we’re bringing soccer fans in the United States closer to “the beautiful game” that we’re playing in the Carolinas, with different and exclusive content delivered in a way that has never been done before.”
ABOUT METRO GOLDWYN MAYER
Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) is a leading entertainment company focused on the production and global distribution of film and television content across all platforms. The company owns one of the world's deepest libraries of premium film and television content as well as the premium pay television network EPIX, which is available throughout the U.S. via cable, satellite, telco, and digital distributors. In addition, MGM has investments in numerous other television channels, digital platforms, interactive ventures, and is producing premium short-form content for distribution. For more information, visit www.mgm.com.
ABOUT MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCERHeadquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer features 27 clubs throughout the United States and Canada, in addition to future expansion teams in St. Louis and Charlotte. For more information about MLS, visit www.MLSsoccer.com.
ABOUT CHARLOTTE FCCharlotte Football Club is bringing Major League Soccer to the Carolinas and will begin play in Uptown Charlotte in early 2022. The Club’s mission is to be a unifying force that is bigger than one city and encourage a sense of belonging through a progressive, collective, and ambitious approach that guides efforts on and off the pitch. CLTFC is committed to driving growth through the sport and community outreach. Charlotte FC’s home is Bank of America Stadium which is currently undergoing soccer-specific renovations totaling $50 million. These updates will provide an elite venue for MLS matches and a unique experience for players and fans. Charlotte FC is owned by David Tepper and is a part of Tepper Sports & Entertainment, which also includes Bank of America Stadium and the Carolina Panthers. For more information, visit CharlotteFootballClub.com.