by Jonathan Haile
Creating a logo is an important, dare I say, sacred part of the branding process. A logo should be recognizable, but should encompass a brand’s identity, values and in many cases, its history. As Major League Soccer prepares for its 20th season, the newly unveiled logo is a different take on what we’ve come to know.
Pictured below, you’ll notice that the new logo in the bottom right. It has an interesting story to tell. The perimeter represents the field of play, the slash represents the speed and energy of the game, and the three stars represent what MLS calls its pillars of the brand: For Club, For Country, For Community.
Evolving over time, MLS maintained the image of a cleat and a soccer ball in its logo, so the update is a definite departure that league is happy to explain:
“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.”
Sharing the sacredness with its teams
What’s most interesting to me is the story the logo doesn’t necessarily tell you. Each individual club gets its own MLS logo, featuring the colors of each individual brand. It suggests, to me, a dynamic that you don’t get from the NFL, NBA, or MLB. One could argue that those leagues have hierarchies that place league offices and officials above their teams. This MLS logo suggests that the league cannot function without them. It eliminates the disconnect.
Of course, the logo also a celebration. MLS Next is the new positioning platform that highlights the new clubs, new sponsorships, new stadiums and the excitement ahead, so why not let each club share that excitement?
At first glance the logo seems simple, but when you understand it, it makes a lot of sense. The league’s approach should serve as an example for all aspiring branding experts. There are awesome stories you can help your clients tell. You can take them into account to make something fresh and recognizable.
Image via MLSSoccer.com
by Ana Guzman
Every year I am beyond excited for the Super Bowl, but if you ask me which teams will be playing, there is a 90 percent chance that I won’t know. I do know, however, that the commercials will be worth the wait of an entire football season. This year the Swedish clothing retailer H&M is releasing an interactive commercial that features international soccer icon, David Beckham. I am intrigued to see the results and public reaction.
This 30-second “interactive” commercial will use the “t-commerce platform,” a shopping method that uses television networks to show products to viewers and process orders using smart TVs (televisions connected to the internet). In this case, a short pop-up on the screen will allow smart TV users to shop for Beckham’s line of clothing during the brief commercial. H&M is the first to use t-commerce technology during the Super Bowl. The t-commerce platform had its first demo at the 2014 International Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas and less than a month after its debut, it will be used during the biggest sporting event of the year. The question is, “Will this increase sales?”
Too advanced for most
This all seems like a great idea, in theory. The reality is that smart TVs are not common yet and the number of people who will be able to interact with this commercial is small. Also, the t-commerce platform will only be compatible with smart TVs made since 2012, decreasing the number of potential interactions even more.
To shop or to watch?
It will be interesting to see how these new interactive commercials could impact the way we watch television. This new t-commerce platform has the potential to take infomercials to a whole new level, not to mention how convenient it would be to shop instantly as you watch the commercial. We can also ask about what kind of impact will it have during the Super Bowl. First, the pop-up for shopping will only be available for a few seconds during this 30 second commercial. Second, this new technology might be a disruption to those who do not want to shop. Third, will this commercial be targeting men or women? According to the Canon City Daily Record, more women will watch the Super Bowl than men. It could be difficult to sell men’s clothing during the biggest football game of the year. All these questions will be answered once Sunday comes around.