Major League Soccer has a new logo. Refreshingly, it does not have a soccer boot crashing into a ball, as the outgoing one did.
(For two decades, it was nice to be reminded by a soccer league that has “Soccer” in its name that, indeed, its teams do play soccer.)
The new logo is remarkably simple, with “MLS” in a simple wordmark on a stylized shield split into two halves. One half bears three stars — and the other is left blank. The shield’s colour scheme can be altered to match any of the league’s teams — and the cynic will say that’s a reminder of the fact that, even though you may have a club to call your own, in the end it’s the league office that controls contracts and calls the shots.
It’s also incredibly bold for a league to announce a change in the way it markets itself, going into a year where a new Collective Bargaining Agreement needs to be negotiated. The current CBA expires after this season.
“Our new brand and crest are the result of an iterative process that has helped us better understand the world in which we operate in. The outcome is not an evolution, but a revolution,” Howard Handler, the league’s chief marketing domo, said at a news conference held Thursday in New York.
But there’s something I hope came up at the marketing meetings. If MLS has decided to go ahead with a major rebranding of itself, it should tackle what is maybe its own worst enemy. And that’s its name.
Major League Soccer.
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