When Major League Soccer launched a competition to give fans the chance to design the album art for the league's new official anthem, created by world-renowned composer Hans Zimmer and released today on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Deezer, Amazon Music, Pandora and Tidal, Marvin Chavez was immediately excited.
It was as if the competition was meant for him.
Chavez has loved soccer his entire life, watching Liga MX and European soccer with his father as long as he can remember and becoming an inaugural season-ticket holder in LAFC's supporters' group The 3252. And when he's not watching LAFC, he's a graphic designer at Thinkwell Group.
So, with this perfect blend of passions and experiences, Chavez set about listening intently to Zimmer's anthem, created for MLS's 25th season, and watching the league's accompanying video until inspiration struck. He wanted to capture the energy and motion in both the game of soccer he loves so much and Zimmer's score itself.
“It’s hard to find good design," Chavez said. "With my experience in design and love for soccer, I thought it might be something I’d be good at. So I gave it a shot.”
Marvin Chavez's winning design
After submitting his eye-catching design, Chavez feverishly checked Twitter as he waited to see who won.
Then the good news arrived. On Monday, MLS announced that Chavez's design had been selected as the winning entry and will grace the album cover for the anthem as it appears across streaming services. He also won a pair of tickets to the 2021 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target.
“I noticed the tempo, it was grand in scale — something you’d expect for him," Chavez, 37, told MLSsoccer.com of his inspiration drawn from the Oscar-winning composer. "I was trying to figure out how to apply that design for soccer. How could I convey this energy he’s putting in the score? I did that through the design in motion, you can do that through shapes and color. So I made it abstract, colorful and shapes, trying to illustrate that energy from the score and soccer.”
While Chavez, who works at Thinkwell's headquarters in Los Angeles, had been a fan of soccer, he hadn't taken a favorite in MLS before LAFC came along. He went to some LA Galaxy games and enjoyed them but wasn't yet hooked.
So when LAFC were announced as an expansion team set to debut in 2018, he was intrigued. And when LAFC revealed their black and gold brand, it pulled him closer still. Then he went to LAFC's inaugural home game, a dramatic 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders in 2018 with Laurent Ciman scoring a stoppage-time game-winning goal.
Marvin Chavez and his wife enjoy an LAFC game
“Being in design, their brand spoke to me," Chavez said. "It broke the ice. Then when they hired Bob Bradley, signed Carlos Vela and the beautiful stadium started to go up, I got tickets to the supporters’ section.
"It wasn’t until I went to the first LAFC game, and it was like: Woah," Chavez added. "It was electric, energetic and so fun. From that day I become a die-hard LAFC fan.”
And perhaps now his two passions can more frequently align.
“I’m actually trying to pivot my freelance work to football design," Chavez said.
Adding this winning design to his resume is not a bad way to start.