Major League Soccer has revealed its new crest for the forthcoming season – the first change since the league started in 1996.
“We have etched a new milestone in our future today – a culmination of the many monumental changes that have positioned us for rapid growth,” said Howard Handler, CMO, MLS. “In the last 18 months, we have introduced new teams, new soccer-specific stadiums, an eight year, multi-million dollar media rights partnership, and our owners have made significant investments to sign world-class athletes."
Handler added: "Together, these elements have led to the realization that our current brand is no longer a proper representation of the league we are and want to become.”
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The new crest, which will replace the old image of a soccer boot kicking a ball, is dominated by a shield accompanied by three white stars which represent "club, country and community."
The MLS explained that the slash which cuts the shield in two "refers to soccer’s speed and energy" and the perimeter represents the "lines that mark off the field of play."
A statement on the official website also explained the idea behind the logo MLS Next which accompanied the rebrand. It read: "Next. It’s a word that nods to the future with a wink to the past. Next year. The next generation.
"It reminds us that tomorrow is more important than yesterday and that the best question you can ever ask is: What’s next?
"At MLS, we’ve been asking What’s next? since the league’s founding nearly 20 years ago. And recently the answers have been exciting and remarkable: new clubs, new stars, new media partnerships, new stadiums, and new fans. It’s all part of what’s next. And it deserves a new brand identity."
The MLS returns to FOX next season, with matches across the FOX family of networks.