Major League Soccer decided to bench one of the ads in its new campaign following revelations about its star.
As of Monday evening, rapper Sheck Wes was going to appear in an ad entitled “Our Way,” but MLS pulled the spot last minute in light of allegations of domestic abuse by singer, actress and model Justine Skye, who also said the rapper and a group of friends stalked her and her friends in a series of tweets last night.
“In light of the recent news regarding Sheck Wes, he is no longer part of the campaign,” an MLS spokesperson said in a statement.
MLS claims to be the most diverse sports league in the world, with players from over 70 countries. The rapidly expanding league, which is coming off a season with record-breaking attendance, also boasts a multicultural fanbase. That multiculturalism informs its new campaign from The Fader’s creative agency, Cornerstone, featuring ads in English, Spanish, Spanglish and French, centered around an anthem ad featuring Latin music star Prince Royce and DJ Tokimonsta. “Our fans are a reflection of the ‘New North America’—young, diverse, bi-cultural, digitally savvy,” MLS vp, brand and integrated marketing David Bruce told Adweek.
Bruce said the league is “the most inclusive, welcoming and diverse in sports” and “wanted talent to authentically reflect the diverse fan base and their very real passion for MLS clubs.”
“You see fans from all walks of life, with many different backgrounds supporting our clubs,” he explained.
Prince Royce provides the voiceover for “Our Sound” as he shows off his gear for Inter Miami CF, the new MLS expansion team owned by David Beckham, at a party. Grammy-nominated producer and DJ Tokimonsta is also in attendance, representing Los Angeles’ team. Before he was pulled, Wes was going to be featured representing his hometown New York City Football Club.
“I think it’s one of the sports that has the most passion. You see so many cultures, languages—that’s the great thing about music and the great thing about soccer,” Prince Royce said in a statement. “I’m from New York, where we have two teams, and I moved to Miami, and having a team coming to Miami is super dope. As a fan, I think we’re all excited. It’s great to see MLS grow, and for all of these cities to have more sports, more passion, more laughter and more soccer.”
The ads extend the “Our Soccer” campaign that Cornerstone and The Fader launched last year with a spot starring 2Chainz, shortly after being named creative agency of record.
“The campaign builds on the momentum coming off the most successful season to date and looks forward to an exciting 2019,” Bruce said. “The campaign embraces personalities who are driving culture and how they see soccer as a place to connect and reflect who they are. That is why we have worked with a range of pop culture icons.”
“‘Our Soccer’ is about tapping into the unique attitude and positive feeling of soccer culture in North America. You see it in the rituals and traditions that every MLS club, every city, every player, every fan brings to the culture,” explained Cornerstone co-CEO Jon Cohen.
In behind-the-scenes videos, Prince Royce and DJ Tokimonsta discuss what the sport brings to their cities.
Co-CEO: Jon Cohen
Chief Creative Officer: Trevor Eld
Executive Creative Director: Steve Caputo
Writers: Steve Caputo, Anicée Gaddis, Simone Henault, Mike Spiegel
Senior Designer: Shaung Wan
Designer: Hannah Lo Bello
SVP Marketing: Patrick Schmidt
SVP Talent Relations: Robert English
Producer: Simone Henault
Account Director: Arturo Garcia
Account Managers: Emily Cook & Adam Kenny
PR Director: Katie Cummings
Producer: Tarquin Glass
Head of Content & Entertainment: Sarah Pearson
Edit/Finishing: Rock Paper Scissors
Managing Director/EP: Eve Kornblum
Editor: Chris Mitchell
Assistant Editor: Ashley Tantillo
Producer: Julianne Cort
BTS Editor: Joseph Tuzzolino
BTS Supervising Editor: Chris Mitchell
Flame Artist: Eddie Reina
Flame Assistant: Sydney Botie
VFX Producer: Barbara Kontarovich
Telecine: Company 3
Colorist: Kath Raisch
Senior Producer: Amanda Pilnik
Music: Found Objects
Executive Creative Directors: Jay Wadley & Trevor Gureckis
Composers: Jay Wadley & Ben Marshall
Executive Producer: Jennie Armon
Senior Producer: Matt Nelson
Producer: Nick Chomowicz
Mix: Mister Bronx
Mixer: Geoff Strasser
Executive Producer: Molly Burke