MLS is rolling out several initiatives to celebrate its 25th season in 2020, including a commemorative crest.
“Our 25th season will celebrate our rich history by honoring the countless people behind the growth of our League and reflecting upon many of the memorable moments in our history,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “During this season-long celebration, we’ll also focus on our exciting future as we continue on our path to become one of the top leagues in the world.”
The 25th Season officially kicks off this Thursday, Jan. 9 with the new MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas, live on Twitter, and continues all the way through MLS Cup. MLS’s “Our Soccer” marketing campaign will continue in 2020 with a 25th season theme, supported by amplification from clubs, corporate partners, broadcast partners (ESPN, Fox Sports, Univision, TSN and TVA Sports), and international media partners around the world.
The following highlights 25th Season Celebration programming, with additional extensions to be featured in the future.
DEBUT OF EXPANSION INTER MIAMI CF AND NASHVILLE SC – Two new expansion teams in Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC will make their debut for the 2020 season. Inter Miami enters MLS in 2020 with an ownership group comprised of a diverse team that combines strong local connections and global star power, including soccer and cultural icon David Beckham. With former Liverpool CEO Ian Ayre at the helm, Nashville will kick off the season in primetime with the club’s inaugural match on FOX, as the club hosts 2018 MLS Cup champions Atlanta United on Feb. 29.
MOST EXPANSIVE NETWORK COVERAGE IN LEAGUE HISTORY – MLS’ 25th season will also feature the most expansive network coverage in league history. An all-time high 46 network broadcast windows across ABC, FOX, Univision and UniMás in the U.S. will be complemented by eight matches broadcast on CTV in Canada. In the U.S., the nationally broadcast matches will be available in both English and Spanish-language through ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes as well as FOX, FS1 and FOX Deportes. Matches will also air in Spanish on Univision, UniMás, and TUDN. In Canada, TSN will broadcast matches from all three clubs in Canada, including every Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps match. TVA Sports will broadcast every Montreal Impact match. In addition to the games airing on national broadcast partners, MLS LIVE will showcase every out-of-market match in the U.S. on ESPN+ and MLS fans in Canada can view more than 300 regular season matches through the DAZN live streaming service. Univision and UniMás matches will be streamed live in English on Twitter. All broadcasts will include new 25th copyright animation and feature unique elements as part of their graphic package. The world feed for MLS’ international broadcasts will feature a 25th logo watermark.
FORWARD25 JERSEY REVEAL AHEAD OF NYC FASHION WEEK – On Wednesday, Feb. 5, adidas and MLS will unveil the league’s complete collection of 2020 jerseys in advance of New York City’s Fashion Week. MLS’ diverse fan base will be in the spotlight as celebrity fans from many teams will model the kits along with MLS Greats. For example, Houston Texans All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will model for Houston Dynamo; actor and director Colin Hanks will represent Los Angeles Football Club; and OVO Sound’s Canadian R&B duo, Majid Jordan, will feature for Toronto FC. More celebrity ambassadors will be announced in the coming weeks. Fans are invited to experience the action by following #FORWARD25.
EA SPORTS FIFA 20 JERSEY DROP – In partnership with EA SPORTS FIFA, the adidas jerseys will be revealed virtually across EA SPORTS FIFA channels following the real-world unveiling. Fans can also represent their favorite MLS team currently playable in FIFA 20 and use the jerseys across various game modes, including Kick-Off, Career Mode, and more ahead of the start of the season. Stay tuned for more details on @EASPORTSFIFA channels.
NEW MLS FONT USED BY ALL CLUBS – The official MLS name and number jersey font for 2020 is a dynamic, energetic and bold graphic typeface that introduces a layering tri-line effect. The font was designed in collaboration with MLS by Rick Banks, lead designer and typographer of Face37, an award-winning graphic design studio based in Manchester, England.
MLS & BODYARMOR 2020 KICKOFF EVENT – MLS and BODYARMOR Sports Drink, the League’s Official Sports Drink partner in the U.S, will kick off the 25th Season in 2020 with a media event and youth soccer skills challenge at Los Angeles Football Club’s Banc of California Stadium on Wednesday, Jan. 15. The event will feature NBA legend and BODYARMOR investor Kobe Bryant, MLS players and executives.
MLS 25th SEASON CELEBRATION MEDIA DAY IN NEW YORK CITY – MLS Commissioner Don Garber, owners, coaches and players are scheduled to participate in the 2020 MLS Media Day in New York City at the end of February leading into opening weekend games to kick off the 25th season.
TELLING THE MLS STORY – Throughout the 2020 season, a full slate of content, including video series, feature films, and fan-engagement programming will bring to life the stories that have defined MLS’ first quarter century — and what comes next. Highlights include:
- “The 25 Greatest” – A special, year-long content and fan-engagement program to determine the top 25 players from the first 25 years of MLS. Fans, media, MLS Greats, and club technical staff will select “The 25 Greatest,” which will be unveiled in November.
- “The Greatest Goal” – After MLS Cup in November 2020, fans will choose the greatest goal in 25 seasons of MLS through a bracket.
- MLS Feature Film – The critically-acclaimed teams at Box to Box Films and EVO Films are developing a definitive documentary about the birth and growth of MLS during its first 25 years. The biggest names in league history will reveal how MLS overcame skepticism and adversity to become one of the fastest-growing sports entities in North America.
- “El Toque Latino” – A three-part video series featuring exclusive interviews and rare archival footage showcasing the unique contributions and tremendous influence of Latin American players in 25 years of MLS. Produced in coordination with longtime MLS media partner TUDN.
- “Legacy” – A 12-part longform editorial series exploring some of the lesser-known moments and personalities that have laid the foundation for MLS’s next 25 years.
2020 MLS ALL-STAR GAME PRESENTED BY TARGET – As part of the league’s milestone 25th season, the 2020 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target will reach new heights as the best of MLS take on the LIGA MX All-Stars in a first-of-its-kind All-Star matchup at LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium on Wednesday, July 29. The game will feature a special edition 25th Season All-Star jersey and MLS Greats will participate throughout the week-long series of experiences. The 2020 MLS All-Star week will include elevated programming, including a concert and the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge, among other events to be announced in the coming months, to celebrate the sport and culture of soccer as part of the league’s 25th season festivities. MLS WORKS will conduct various charitable initiatives, including the unveiling of a mini-pitch to commemorate 25 seasons of community service by the league, players and our partners.
THE NATIVO XXV 25TH SEASON CELEBRATION ADIDAS MATCH BALL – The official match ball for the League’s milestone 25th season will be the 2020 MLS adidas NATIVO XXV. Featuring blue and green colors, the reimagined NATIVO (above) is a nod to the first MLS ball in 1996.
SINCE ’96 COLLECTION – Celebrating the League’s start in 1996, this retro collection features clubs from the 1990s with merchandise available from Mitchell & Ness and New Era. The collection is will launch this summer and feature retro gear from the Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, FC Dallas (Burn), D.C. United, Sporting Kansas City (Kansas City Wiz), LA Galaxy, Portland Timbers, New England Revolution, San Jose Earthquakes (Clash), Seattle Sounders FC, and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC (Eighty-Sixers).
SOCCER FOR ALL – Since the launch of MLS, the League has been dedicated to supporting the communities where we live and plays our games and providing an environment in which staff, players, partners and fans are treated with dignity and respect — which is the essence of the League’s Soccer For All campaign. Throughout the season, and in partnership with our clubs, MLS WORKS, the League’s social responsibility platform, will highlight the collective efforts taking place League-wide to foster more inclusive communities including elevated programming and the third annual Soccer For All month.
2020 MLS CUP CULMINATES 25 SEASONS – The season will culminate at the 25th MLS Cup with an unforgettable pre-match ceremony highlighting 25 seasons of MLS. More celebratory initiatives will be announced in the weeks before MLS Cup.
Images courtesy MLS.