With Earth Day on Sunday, MLS and its teams are planning a broad array of celebrations that include specialty jerseys and other initiatives.
Highlighting this year’s Earth Day initiatives for MLS is its collaboration with adidas and Parley to support Parley for the Oceans. This effort was first put into place last year, when four clubs–LA Galaxy, New York City FC, Orlando City SC, and Seattle Sounders FC–wore specialty jerseys made from technical yarns containing Parley Ocean Plastic.
That initiative is returning in 2018, but on a much larger scale. All 23 MLS clubs will wear their own version of the specialty jersey during week eight matches, with the jerseys featuring two colorways–non-dye and carbon–helping to differentiate between the two teams in each match. MLS has released the designs of all 23 jerseys, and fans have the opportunity to purchase their own replicas through MLSstore.com, adidas.com, and in select in-stadium retailers. MLS has also launched a social media contest, as fans can share photos/videos of their green initiatives via Twitter for a chance to win a jersey of their choice (more on that promotion here.)
Earth Day celebrations will also take place at certain MLS stadiums over the weekend. The Orlando City Foundation called on volunteers to participate in a Parramore neighborhood cleanup on Saturday morning, with participants meeting at Orlando City Stadium before gathering trash and litter in the surrounding Parramore neighborhood. Those who volunteered were awarded with an MLS WORKS #GreenerGoals t-shirt and an Orlando City or Orlando Pride magnet.
Leading up to Saturday’s match against Atlanta United FC, LA Galaxy participated in a series of community-wide initiatives. The club’s home match at StubHub Center will include a collaboration with Surfrider Foundation for in-stadium recycling collection.
Similarly, Seattle Sounders FC has celebrated Earth Week in the days leading up to Sunday’s match against Minnesota United FC. Match day will feature its own nods to Earth Day, including a free bike valet in the North Lot at CenturyLink Field. Fans who bike to the match and park their bicycle in the valet area will be eligible to win a match-worn and autographed adidas Parley jersey and adidas Parley Boost shoes.
Another elaborate Earth Day celebration comes from the Portland Timbers. The first 2,500 fans to Sunday’s match at Providence Park will receive a free packet of sunflower seeds, while Hampton Lumber will hand out a limited number of tree saplings following the match. Providence Park will also feature bike parking, and the code GREENGAME will give fans a 25% discount on Lyft Line rides to the stadium. This is all part of Stand Together Green Game, which will be celebrated when the Timbers host New York City FC. Fans are also encouraged to make register donations to the Ecology in the Classrooms and Outdoors at stadium merchandise locations, while a portion proceeds from the purchase of an April “Dig In” Scarf of the Month will support Friends of Trees.
Image courtesy Philadelphia Union.