WELCOME TO MLS NEXT
Next. It’s a word that nods to the future with a wink to the past. Next year. The next generation. It reminds us that tomorrow is more important than yesterday and that the best question you can ever ask is: What’s next? At MLS, we’ve been asking What’s next? since the league's founding nearly 20 years ago. And recently the answers have been exciting and remarkable: new clubs, new stars, new media partnerships, new stadiums, and new fans. It’s all part of what’s next. And it deserves a new brand identity. Welcome to #MLSNEXT.
THE NEXT PHASE OF MLS
2015 will mark Major League Soccer’s 20th season. Less a milestone than a starting point, the 2015 season will kick off the next phase of MLS’s evolution, with many exciting, new developments:
New Clubs: New York City FC and Orlando City SC will begin play in MLS in 2015. An expansion club in Atlanta will join in 2017. And David Beckham is continuing to work on his plan for an expansion club in Miami.
New Media Partnerships: MLS will begin new television and media rights partnerships with ESPN, FOX and Univision in the United States. In Canada, we continue to have strong partnerships with TSN and RDS.
New Stadiums: Currently, 15 MLS clubs play in stadiums built or renovated for soccer, and more will debut soon, including San Jose (2015) and Orlando (2016).
New Stars: MLS club owners are making significant investments in world-class players, including Clint Dempsey (Seattle), Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe (Toronto), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Matt Besler and Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), Jermaine Jones (New England), Kaka (Orlando), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia), and David Villa and Frank Lampard (NYCFC).
THE MLS CREST
The new MLS crest embodies and represents the next phase of Major League Soccer’s vision to be among the best leagues in the world by 2022.
WORDMARK: MLS stands for Major League Soccer.
SLASH: The slash refers to soccer’s speed and energy. The slash begins outside the perimeter and drives upward at a 45-degree angle to illustrate both the nonstop nature of our game and the rising trajectory of our league. It bisects the crest to create a “first half” and “second half.”
STARS: The three stars represent the pillars of our brand: For Club, For Country, For Community.
PERIMETER: The perimeter represents the lines that mark off the field of play.
FIRST HALF AND SECOND HALF: The first half contains MLS and the three stars. The second half is an open white space that brings you in and out of the MLS world.
CLUB VERSIONS OF THE CREST
EA SPORTS® FIFA 15
Today, EA Sports' FIFA franchise is one of the most important media platforms for showcasing and expressing our brand and our game. It's where many of our club's fans are engaged. Collaborating with EA — a longtime MLS partner — provided us with a unique way to launch our new brand, one that is indicative of a modern enterprise that embraces innovation and expresses its experience through an ecosystem that is wider than ever before.
Download FIFA 15 screenshots / wallpapers: Chicago, Chivas USA, Columbus, Colorado, Dallas, D.C. United, Houston, LA Galaxy, Montreal, New England, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, Real Salt Lake, Seattle, San Jose, Sporting KC, Toronto, Vancouver
YOU'VE GOT QUESTIONS. WE'VE GOT ANSWERS.
Q: Why did you redesign the MLS brand identity?
MLS is a very different league today than it was when it launched nearly 20 years ago. With everything that has occurred during the last 12-18 months - new teams, new stars, new media partnerships, new stadiums - we needed a brand that better reflects who we are as a league, where we are going and what we want to become.
Q: Why have you removed the ball and cleat?
The new brand’s design is intended to say “soccer” without the literal ball and cleat. In the end, we decided that the inclusion of a ball and cleat is unnecessary as it dates us very quickly (due to the fast pace of innovation in our game) while many other ways exist to signal we are a soccer league. Our new brand will build meaning over time so that our new crest signifies soccer in North America and has a unique place in global sports.
Q: Why doesn't the new crest resemble other league logos?
We are not like other leagues, whether in North American sports or other soccer. Our situation is different, our history is unique, and how we express soccer is decidedly North American. We have goals and aspirations that are distinctly MLS. As a result, our brand and crest visually reflect the type of business we are.
Q: What does MLS’s new brand identity mean for the clubs?
It means each club will get a version of the league crest, which better reflects their clubs identity and local market. This is not a replacement for the club brand; instead the new league brand complements and allows the club to be the real hero. We want to reinforce the ethos of the new brand, which encourages clubs to “own” and adapt the crest to match the colors they and their fans associate with and support.
Q: How does the new crest fit in and transcend the soccer world?
The shape of the new MLS brand takes inspiration from soccer crests, which are a traditional part of the game across the world. This enables us to point to soccer while also differentiating and redefining how a modern sports league is viewed.
As a result we have not merely evolved our current mark, but created a revolutionary expression that reflects the type of league we are today and where we want to go tomorrow.
Q: When will the new brand identity be in place?
The new MLS brand will begin to appear in 2015-related programs and products this fall, and will be fully launched at the MLS Combine and SuperDraft in January 2015.
Q: When will MLSsoccer.com and other digital products change?
We are hard at work on updates for the website, mobile apps, fantasy games, and connected devices with the new brand. We expect the updates to be available before the start of the 20th season.
Q: When can I get my club’s jersey with the new MLS crest on it?
The annual “Jersey Week” remains a key event in our calendar and the majority of the 2015 jerseys will be made available during this period ahead of the next MLS season. Fans of New York City FC and Orlando City Soccer Club will be able to buy their new MLS jerseys before the end of this year.
Q: Who created the new brand identity?
The development process was driven in-house while also engaging some exceptional talent from the brand strategy and design worlds. We worked with the following agencies: Gigunda, Athletics and Berliner Benson.