In many American sports, it is custom to sing the National anthem before games. We do this before the super bowl and spend lots and lots of money to get someone really talented and/or famous to sing it. I’ve also been to baseball games and horse races where the national anthem was sung before. I’m not sure if MLS does this or not, but if they want to set themselves apart from other American sports, not doing so, or replacing the anthem with something else could be a good way for MLS to reject American sport’s standards/expectations and prove themselves as a nonconforming brand.
Making the national anthem a standard for sporting events or any public event is somewhat creepy of a concept.It feels very forced, in the same way that it feels wrong to enforce the pledge of the allegiance in school. I like the concept of group singing. It really does a good job of riling people up and allowing them to feel unified, but why does it have to be a song about our country? Why not something more fun and related to the sport?
IDEA: MLS sings “Wer’e Not Going to Take It” by Twisted Sister. This song is all about finding freedom from nonconforming which perfectly sums up MLS’s Rebel character. It’s also a pretty easy song to learn and is in a range that is easy to sing.
This song could be sung before every MLS game and it would further engrain the concept of nonconformity as MLS’s brand into the minds of the players and the fans. (in a fun way, not a creepy, brainwashing way.”
Americans get weird when the topic of sex comes up. We are not allowed to show sex or nudity in films, breast-feeding in public is looked down upon, most schools don’t teach sex-ed anymore or teach false information and/or abstinence, abortion has caused controversy to the point of violence, and when we do show sex in the media it is usually used to sell hamburgers or cars. In America these customs are NORMAL.
Sex doesn’t have to be so complicated and our youth should at least be getting some correct information on safe sex. As an American team, MLS should do something about this. Doing so would also put MLS in a nonconforming position, doing something against American societal norms, which is good for promoting MLS’s brand: badge of nonconformity. It’s a win win situation.
Now how should MLS go about helping out with this situation??
MLS themed condoms
Male AND female condoms with separate, clear instructions for each type written on the box and on the individual condoms
Helpful, general information about safe sex on the box that everyone deserves to know.
Tips, tricks, and pointers from professional MLS soccer players
Different colors and flavors for each team (maybe a space themed galaxy condom for LA Galaxy team?)
Particular players could design their own condoms if interested (with different kinds, sizes, colors, flavors, lubrications, ect.)
With MLS condoms your sexual experiences will go from average sex to major league sex (MLS) …..ha- ha!
Some people who weren’t interested in MLS before, might be more open to giving them a chance, if they see them getting involved in something sexual. Sex sells. It’s a known fact. But, like I mentioned earlier, a lot of brands use sex in a negative way to sell their product, brand, ect. For example, Hardy’s throws in a sexy girl in a bikini in some of their ads to sell a burger, hoping it will lure in more dudes. However, the images they use are very stereotypical, and when the only sex we do see in the media is used in this way, we grow up with a twisted view on the subject. By selling condoms and providing safe and helpful information about safe sex, MLS is using sex to sell their brand, but in a way that is helpful to society. They are doing society a favor and their product a favor by getting their information about MLS out there through a new medium.
A mom of a bratty tween is struggling to throw her daughter a birthday party she will actually enjoy. She has introduced many ideas, however her daughter keeps pushing these ideas aside as they are too typical. “That’s so TYPICAL mom!! EVERYBODY has that party.“ she says. Her mother is lost. Her suggestions for a spa theme party, a murder mystery dinner party, a pizza pool party, and even a cops and robbers themed birthday party are all refused.
The mom ponders and ponders, completely stressed out about this birthday party. She sees an MLS game and sees all the nonconformity the team has to offer. She wraps up an MLS themed birthday party that she presents as a surprise party for her daughter. The daughter and her picky, bratty tween friends all sit down to watch a game and all leave happy as ever.
Here, MLS is presented as a solution for a problem- a relief for a mother, and a safe haven for a tween who is fed up with conformity and is trying to find a place she can be herself.
Scene:Typical workplace setting- cubicles and all.
Guy at business firm (let’s call him Larry) always shows up to work in pjs. The boss yells at Larry all the time for it, but Larry refuses to conform to his dress code. The boss would fire him, but he’s the most valuable worker he has. Larry’s co-workers whisper about Larry and his silly and frustrating habit on break.
**A few workdays pass by and Larry shows up to work in pjs each day. Boss shakes his head to himself everyday **
Person #1:“I think he’s just a lazy bum…I dress up for work everyday and you never see ME complaining about it…”
Person #2: “I heard he does it in protest of the work dress code…he thinks it’s too conforming or something.”
Boss overhears the person #2 and get’s an idea.
The next day the boss shows up and puts 2 MLS tickets on Larry’s desk.
Larry looks at tickets and on the weekend attends MLS game. Here he is thrown into a crowd of nonconformity. He is so happy and satisfied.The players and people in the crowd all have different stories and different ways the dissent from societies social norms.
The Monday after the game, Larry shows up to work in a suit. The boss smiles at him and he smiles and continues working.
The boss knows that his plan worked. He knew that Larry was fed up with the dress conformity in the workplace, however the boss still felt that dressing up to work was what he wanted. As an MLS fan himself, the boss knew that MLS was a league founded on the ideals of nonconformity. It is a great place for Larry to dump all his anger from the conformity he deals with in his day-to-day life. Once Larry had some place to not conform he no longer felt the need to do so in the workplace.
Heres where MLS steps in an introduces their role in lives like Larry’s:
MLS can’t fix everything, but we can offer you killer weekends and an escape from conformity you face daily.
IDEA:Soccer is a game that revolves around forward movement, so when it comes down to choosing a soccer league to love and cherish, doesn’t it seem smart to choose a team that’s persona is all about forward moving as well??
Tradition is appealing to many. It’s great for holidays, family legacies, campus greek life, and common rituals between friends. It’s often comforting and creates strong bonds. Many sports advertise themselves through the traditional personas.
Nonconformity is pretty much the opposite of the tradition persona, yet it is appealing for different reasons. Nonconformity is new, it’s progressive, it’s forward-moving, innovative, tough, and revolutionary.
Tradition is embracing good elements of the past and nonconformity is moving past bad elements of the past.Where tradition moves (or stays) BACKWARDS, nonconformity is about moving FORWARD. Soccer is fast and forward moving, so it’s fitting for MLS to embrace the persona of the nonconformist.
Conformity requires pushing. It exists because of rules and expectations that people and now, media creates. Many people are naive to the fact that they conform and that they do so because of the pressure emplaced by society.
Because trends are a product of conformity, many PRODUCTS hope for conformity to help them gain popularity. If they can somehow convince their audience that they NEED their product to be a normal human being, then they’re probably in for a decent amount of $$$$$$$$$$$.
So…it makes sense why products hope for this BUT, it puts a lot of pressure on the consumer. What if everything was less forced…products, society , everything.
High school cliques and popularity queens and kings wouldn’t tell you what to wear and how to act. Instead of saying.. “On Wednesdays we wear pink” or “you CAN’T be apart of the mathletes b/c that’s social suicide” they would say “On Wednesday’s we wear pink…if that’s what you’re into” …and that second quote just wouldn’t exist.
SOOOO eliminating all forms of forced conformity would be GREAT, but it’s just not realistic. A product can’t fix the world but, MLS CAN offer a more comforting approach to showing off their product. MLS, is founded on the brand that offers a”badge of nonconformity.” It feels wrong for a product based on NONconformity, and NOT pushing expectations to sell themselves in the typical form of advertising, making customers feel like they CAN’T live without their product. It’s controversial to try and FORCE the concept of nonconformity. So why do it?
IDEA: “No Pressure” ad campaign. The concept: LIKE US…but only if you want to. MLS could just be very blunt. They could still work hard to show off how awesome their brand/league is. However, instead of taking the approach to show you how you NEED MLS, they could simply show off their brand and INVITE you to like them. If MLS is your thing , cool. Like us! And if not, no biggy. This approach should lure in people who like MLS already, but also people who feel pushed around and pressurized by brands. Many people would respect the fact that MLS isn’t pushing their brand/product and they would be showing of their brand without being hypocritical or controversial.
In all of my favorite teen 90’s movies most of the plots were synonymous. The parents go out of time and the teens throw their very first rager. My favorite part about their party planning was the invites. They always seemed to be very vague and mass produced. They usually only included one or two important pieces of information, leaving the rest for people to find out. The invited were scattered across town and dropped from the top of highschool stairwells (I always thought that was pretty cool.)The text went something like: “massive rager, 7pm, be there” and the rest of the information had to be gathered.
The mysterious, vague invite is very smart in the way that it lures you in my MAKING you go out and find more information. I think that it would be a good idea to expand this tactic from its normal target realm of wild teens to potential MLS fans (aka everyone.) MLS could make vague flyers/invites to their games with limited information. They could put time and date but keep the event itself and their name anonymous. They could make their brand more important than their name by putting out information about the brand, but leaving out “MLS” or anything to do with soccer.
The flyers could say something like “nonconformitsts only” to make people WANT to be the kind of people allowed to this event.It would lure people into and ask them to find out more. They could be spread around the cities that are homes to MLS teams. Physical, tangible, advertising could be a good idea for MLS, since most of their (already little) advertising is done through media.
The flyers themselves would address nonconformity, but they would also be nonconforming themselves in the way that sports are never advertised through the form of tangible, homemade, vague party invites. Not only would it show that MLS approaches things differently, it would also make MLS games seem hip, young and un-missable. Missing an MLS game should feel the same way as missing out on THE high school rager that everyone will talk about for months. The vague invite will attract mystery seekers and lure in people, making them thirsty for more information.