Philadelphia Union today unveiled its new 2021 adidas secondary kit featuring a never-before-seen style and color template in the team’s ten-year history. The “BY|U” kit is a first for many reasons, the lightning pattern and bold blue and yellow, but most importantly, this jersey was designed start-to-finish by a group of fans, the Union Creators’ Collective.
“The new kit is truly by the fans, by ‘the U’. Fans wanted colors influenced by the flags of the Delaware Valley, a design inspired by innovation born in our city, and they wanted to shock the soccer world,” said Doug Vosik, Chief Marketing Officer, Philadelphia Union. “This kit is Philadelphia. The gritty, beautiful, diverse, creative place that we all love. As a Philly native and an original season ticket holder years before working at the Union, I have not had a prouder moment in bringing our community together to shape the future of our club.”
In 2019, the Union Creators’ Collective was formed to build a group of fans that would participate in every step of the jersey design process including building and creating the creative brief that went to Adidas, giving feedback to concepts and art, and reviewing samples well before launch. The Collective met countless times over the course of two years both in the Union’s office and, during COVID, through social distanced home visits by Union employees to solicit feedback on designs and samples. The Collective includes season ticket holders, Sons of Ben members, Union super fans, members of the media, and Union employees and players.
The Blue and Yellow Union 2021 kit, or the “BY|U” kit, features a blue base with a tonal lightning pattern with bolt yellow accents bringing to life what could be called the most famous science experiment in history. Lightning is unpredictable, but it strikes with a speed and sudden power that electrifies everything in its path. This symbolizes the Union’s unique and energetic style of play.
On the left chest sits the Union’s logo in colors derived from the flags of Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Delaware and are also a nod to the branding of Union supporters’ group, the Sons of Ben. After making history in 2020 as the first MLS club to have multiple partner logos on their home kit (Bimbo) and away kits (Artesano); Artesano, a brand of long-time jersey sponsor Bimbo Bakeries USA, remains as the primary sponsor for the secondary kit.
“Energy and persistence conquer all” is featured on the necktape, a quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin and his belief that nothing could defeat the combination just like this city and team. Lastly, flying high above the player name and number, there’s a kite and key icon on the back of the jersey. Innovation is in Philadelphia’s DNA, and never more clearly than when electricity was harnessed from the sky with only a kite and a key.
Photo Credits: Philadelphia Union and MLS