The MLS x Marvel collection had the potential to be something special. Instead, we got more boring and homogenous gear that will likely soon hit clearance racks near you.
When there were whispers about a potential Marvel Entertainment and Major League Soccer collaboration, people were rightfully excited.
One of the biggest names in all of entertainment pairing with MLS had the potential for some really cool stuff, be it match kits, pregame tops, or other memorabilia. That excitement was quickly doused when fans got a look at the finished product. The lasting impression for many, was lazy execution.
The drop consists of a pre-match jersey and a training ball, both Captain America branded, along with a match ball that spans across the Marvel universe.
The balls, especially the Captain America one, actually aren’t that bad. The red, white, and blue insignia of Captain America’s shield is front and center, as well as some comic book panel sketches in between. A fun design that will do really well.
Unfortunately, that has been overshadowed massively by the shambolic pregame tops.
Okay, let’s take a step back. The design is…bad. Captain America’s shield again is the focus, but it’s just been multiplied and plastered all over the top. The black and gold team logo and sponsor also feel out of place and don’t meld well with the piece overall.
In all honesty, a bad design isn’t the end of the world, it happens. However, the group of people that felt it was a good idea to *checks script* copy and paste the same design and swap the badge for all 29 teams was clearly having a long day.
Now the appeal for MLS to do collabs like this is understandable. Fashion and sport have been crossing over more now than ever before. With not just soccer, but the NFL, NBA and other massive sports leagues partnering with major brands and designers to produce iconic drops that fans clamor for.
We at Urban Pitch have covered some of these drops and the appeal was massive. Fans loved them, we loved them, and it was clear to see why. Each of these was carefully curated, they seemed to be crafted with care, and the designs were sleek and trendy, with Toronto FC and OVO’s 2022 drop springing to memory.
None of those qualities apply to this Marvel and MLS team up. Where the other collections had interesting qualities about them, this one feels like it’s a collab for collab’s sake. At best, maybe it could be a pair of items that do well with younger audiences, but at worst, it comes off as a blatant cash grab.
If that was the intention, then they knocked it out the park, but in my opinion, a collaboration between two entities of this magnitude should have been so much more.
MLS and Marvel had a chance to drop a really special set of items that fans could be drawn to and happy to wear. In the end though, it left us with a bad taste in our mouth and left wondering why they even bothered.