Adidas, MLS Make Music Online

NEW YORK Adidas and Major League Soccer, of which Adidas is the official sponsor, supplier and licensee, has created a different type of partnership: a U.S. soccer marketing campaign called “MLS Represent” that’s grounded in contemporary music.

The initiative involves each MLS franchise pairing with a band it helped select which, in turn, creates original music and songs for that team.

Adidas, EVB and Rock River Music produced “MLS Represent.” A broad range of popular bands including Mike Jones, OK GO, Bad Brains and Rose Hill Drive comprise the musical element.

“Collaboration was a key element,” said Jason Zada, executive creative director and co-founder of EVB. Zada said the one musical request EVB made of the bands was that each incorporate “a chantable part of the song” to give the teams support through verse.

“Listening to music online ranks as the favorite pastime among America’s youth and ‘MLS Represent’ targets this audience in an effort to spread enthusiasm around the league beyond the traditional soccer fan base,” said Antonio Zea, head of soccer for Adidas America in a statement.

Digital accounts for the core distribution piece of the campaign, whereby fans can download the original music at www.adidas.com/mls, as well as utilize Yahoo!’s “Jump Cut” feature to make their own videos.

Later on in the year, “MLS Represent” will be rolled out to an in-stadium campaign. Bands will play the anthems live, said Zada. A 30-second TV spot, revolving around the choice to pick a favorite team, may also run.

This campaign was borne out of an interactive effort launched last year that matched local alternative bands with MLS playoff teams. “It marked our entry into the space. This new campaign is built around the success of last year’s venture,” said Daniel Stein, EVB’s CEO.