Monday, March 26, 2007

MLS Gets With The Program

On Friday, Real Salt Lake (RSL) became the first MLS club to announce a front-of the-shirt sponsor (something called Xango). Technically, the New York Red Bulls were the first to do this last season, but their case is a little different because the entire team was purchased by the company that owns Red Bull and re-named ( A quick aside on Red Bulls, they need to tone down the size of that ad, that thing is way too big). RSL was followed by LA Galaxy and today by Toronto FC, who released their first ever kit sponsored by BMO Bank. I'm sure there are soccer fans here in the States and Canada that are up in arms about this development. We (and when I say we I mean me) here at footballkitblog hold a different, more pragmatic view. I believe this is a positive development for American soccer on its road to legitimacy.

Since its inception in 1996, MLS clubs have worn advertising on the back of the jersey, with the team name usually on the front. Of course, the rest of the football/soccer world wears ads on the front of the jersey among other places. This difference along with some others (the "breakaway" tie-breakers, the loud colors and cartoonish nature of most of the jerseys and logos, the huge, empty stadiums) differentiated the American game, and frankly, we were a laughingstock. Recently MLS has made strides towards putting out a better product, and putting ads on the front of the shirts is another step in the right direction. The advertising on the shirt boat has sailed, kids. Now our clubs will look like real football teams.

As far as the new Toronto shirt is concerned, I think the colors are pretty nice and the ad for BMO is done tastefully enough, and at least adidas used the least unattractive or their latest crappy templates. More on how adidas is destroying the game soon to come. I'm curious to see what LA Galaxy is going to do, they are due to release a complete re-design of their look soon. I hear that either black or navy blue will be used as one of the team colors. Anything is better than the puke-a-thon they've been wearing.

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