In Summer 2023, Leagues Cup kicks off for the first time ever, pausing MLS and Liga MX play for a full month to focus on building interleague, cross-border rivalries for the ages. Because our agency’s founders are Mexican, Canadian and uniformly football-obsessed, INDUSTRY is uniquely positioned to open this new chapter in North American football with our partners at the top two leagues on the continent.
Confusingly, Leagues Cup has happened before, but its earlier iteration was more or less a glorified friendly tournament. There were only a few teams from each league involved, no competitive stakes and certainly no total shutdown of each league’s respective seasons. We needed to start by making it clear that this version of Leagues Cup was completely new and here to stay.
We also needed to win with a diverse range of fans across the continent. From skeptical Mexican Liga fans to soccer-curious Americans looking for a way in, our visual language and messaging hierarchy needed to hit home, no matter where it was.
We worked hand-in-hand with our MLS partners to define a multi-phase, integrated brand campaign. First, we needed to unlock a messaging strategy that would, at once, entice both avid and tepid football fans across Mexico, Canada and the US, plus make waves in the global football conversation. So, we gathered a crack team of in-house, cross-disciplinary football fanatics and local entrepreneurs and football influencers like Pete Hoppins of Away Days Brewing to brainstorm on what would play.
Leagues Cup’s pre-order registration quickly filled up, and they’ve already hit their goals for ticket sales for the entire tournament, which will hold matches across the US and Canada. Our creative partnership also helped solicit all the sponsors they needed for the build-up to and execution of all the events across North America.
We coupled our messaging with a sharp design language inspired by the shapes and angles of the Cup, itself, and a photo treatment leagues ahead of the same old sports photography.
The results of our copy and design collaborations teased the “New World. New Game.” brand voice on billboards from Toronto and New York’s Times Square to LA’s SoFi Stadium and CDMX, plus digital out-of-home placements in targeted online haunts of football fans the world over. We capped off the tease phase by launching Leagues Cup’s landing page where fans can learn more and published our manifesto in top publications across North America like La Reforma and Los Angeles Times.
We sent a photo team to the Leagues Cup Showcase in LA to capture on-pitch action and off-the-pitch street and culture photography to highlight the incredible energy on match day — from the parking lot to the actual homes of LA fans. This photography and motion capture formed the foundation of our anthem film, the jewel of the official Leagues Cup announcement phase.
Leveraging b-roll captured at the Showcase, we announced Leagues Cup 2023 with fast-paced highlights, aspirational messaging and a voice-over cameo from Chicharito — the greatest Mexican soccer player active today.
Throughout the Sustain phase of this work we continue to release additional videos to keep fans engaged up until the tournament kicks off.
Our third video explained how the groups were drawn and that was followed by one highlighting and elevating the key cross-league rivalries. Leagues Cup’s VC and messaging for the 2023 tournament is already getting the job done.
On social, the Leagues Cup Tease and explainer videos have solicited millions of engagements across all MLS and Liga MX channels .