For many years Iíve wanted to redesign a league for a personal project. Iíve thought of redesigning MLB, NFL, or even a college conference, yet Iíve always been driven away from doing something thatís existing because I feel our pre-percieved expectations get in the way of objectively looking at new teams/looks. Do anything but the Birds on the Bat for the St. Louis Cardinals and it wonít look right. A Packers uniform without the G on the helmet doesnít look right.
Over the years Iíve become a huge soccer/football fan. I love the history of European football especially English Football. The crests, uniforms, colors, promotion/relegation systems, everything about it is literally foreign to most Americans but it appealed to me on a great level. So about a year and a half ago I began a project centered around soccer. I wanted to imagine what a Football/Soccer league would look like in North America had it developed as it did in England.
I started looking at maps, population centers, how the population moved throughout the last 150 years, and even how other American sports migrated: typically starting on the East Coast and expanding first westward and then South. Many leagues went International in the 70s and I tried to show that a little bit as well. And a bit of a move South in the later part of the 20th century.
I ignored existing US soccer teams like the New York Cosmos or the MLS. Although those teams may be popular I wanted to invent teams and logos from scratch. But I also ignored old teams like Bethlehem Steel. An argument could be made that including them would be more authentic but it went against my goal of 100% creating this league from scratch.
I did not want to change North American history in my concept. Indianapolis is still known for Racing in this alternate universe so their team reflects that. In some cases a name for a team may already exist but that was not intentional, only the existing team name is almost so perfect anything else would have felt wrong. City flags and colors that are used also were unaffected. The only change is that Soccer is a premier sport in the US like baseball or football is.
I decided that I needed to call the sport Soccer or Football and stick with it. In my mind American sensibilities would have kept the sport named ďSoccerĒ so all teams are ďSoccer ClubĒ or ďSC.Ē
I did go with European naming conventions however. I personally believe that imitation is something that is acceptable for sports expanding into new countries. The Tokyo Giants in Japanese baseball very closely resemble the (at the time) New York Giants and I find that ok. So I figured if a US league was starting at a similar time it was getting big around the world, the naming conventions would be similar.
The teams are not restricted to just the United States. I felt that this league would have expanded outside the American borders just like other sport leagues into Canada, the Caribbean and even Mexico. I figured it could be similar to a Welsh team in the EPL. I did not over expand into Mexico however because of their rich history of soccer that already existed.
Another American concept that I did away with is the league wide equipment contracts. Just like in Europe in this league the teams determine their sponsors. I imagined it was a similar ratio as it is now. Nike and Adidas with most, Umbro and Kappa with a few, and then a few local ones like Reebok for Boston or Quicksilver in California. As for the sponsors for the most part they are local. But National companies like Pepsi and Walgreens may be on any team. I did use a league wide numbering system like almost every other major soccer league in the world.
All identities and uniforms are my creation, however some elements from flags and crests were lifted from those. I did not want this project to be about my ideal logo for each team, but what they might actually look like if they existed. So if I designed a logo for one of these teams in real life I would most likely redraw those elements and make them their own. But for this project I imagined that in many cases, the cityís crest would just be reused.
Tomorrow: League Logos and team distribution.http://pcgdstudios.c...america-league/