Creative agency Cornerstone has launched its first campaign for Major League Soccer, featuring a national TV spot starring Grammy-nominated rapper 2 Chainz. The 360 campaign, Cornerstone says, “will tell the story of the US and Canada’s most ascendant, progressive and diverse sports league.”
Atlanta rapper (and fan of local team Atlanta United) 2 Chainz narrates this brand anthem, which features MLS Cup champion and most valuable player Jozy Altidore. He says in the dynamic 30-second spot that cuts from scenes of various cities, stadiums, and communities of soccer fans: “Our soccer is our stage. Our voice is loud in every language. Our city represents our squad. Our hustle has no equal. You see it. The sound. The fury."
— Tity Boi (2 Chainz) (@2chainz) February 21, 2018
“Can’t stop. Won’t stop. Our Soccer,” is how he ends the campaign, which takes on a tone, according to Cornerstone, of "big, bold, authentic and expressive."
Trevor Eld, chief creative officer at Cornerstone and The Fader magazine, adds: "Soccer is a sport that belongs to everyone. MLS is a brand that is open to everyone. We'll use that platform to tell deep stories about the fans, players and cities that make MLS unique."
On this brand-focused spot, MLS vice president of brand and marketing David Bruce said: “Culture is a differentiator for our brand. We believe the movement and energy in MLS, driven by our fans and Clubs, is key to this season’s positioning. Our League and brand is tied to culture in ways that are unique to MLS and soccer and that comes to life in our local communities. We are building rituals and traditions all across Canada and the US that are enabling our fans to form deep emotional bonds with our Clubs.”
Eld says of his agency and its alignment with the brand: “Cornerstone and The Fader started inside culture, covering a mix of artists and stories no one else did. Our audience is always growing because we're authentic and true to culture.”
In previous years, MLS worked with Sid Lee and Brooklyn Brothers on campaign work, very game and action-driven. In making the switch to Cornerstone, which shares a home with publication The Fader, Bruce appreciated the focus of the agency’s focus on culture, saying: “This year, when it came to an agency, we looked for something a little different. We wanted an agency that could help us celebrate what makes our version of the global game different. That is the unique North American soccer culture that exists in MLS."
He considers the staff at Cornerstone to be great storytellers, adding, "we felt they had the right mix of capabilities to elevate our product.”
The plan for the agency to continue telling the stories of those real fans and players as the season progresses. Cornerstone, which has done work for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks for the team’s 50th anniversary, considers itself an agency rooted in sports culture. Bruce says, “Our League’s story can travel far and wide via content. We are working hard to make sure our supporters have a chance to experience and inform that story. We want to work with influencers and creators from across the spectrum of popular culture, from music to fashion to art to film, to tell our story in new and innovative ways.”
Major League Soccer returns to seasonal action on March 3.