NEW YORK, N.Y. (Monday, March 30, 2020) – Major League Soccer today unveiled MLS Unites, a league-wide platform that highlights all of the efforts that MLS players, coaches, clubs and the league are doing to address the important messages and programs taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new initiative was launched in partnership with the Major League Soccer Players Association.
As part of MLS Unites, the league will have a series of programs involving MLS clubs, players, coaches, staff, partners and fans, that will encompass the following:
- Educate and inform fans on the importance of key health and safety messaging.
- Provide some fun and engaging content featuring MLS players that will keep them connected to our fans and drive relevance during the postponement of the season.
- Showcase and celebrate community “heroes,” those who are fighting the pandemic on the frontlines.
“Bringing together our Major League Soccer community, all while staying apart, is the spirit of MLS Unites,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “During this challenging moment in history, I know we can count on the MLS family to come together when we need each other most. Together with our fans, players, teams and partners, we will shine a light on what can be done, and on the heroes leading the way.”
The first element of MLS Unites was unveiled this afternoon with a video featuring social content from MLS players and coaches. In addition, a website dedicated to the new initiative can be found at https://www.mlssoccer.com/mlsunites.
As part of today’s launch, MLS clubs, players, coaches, fans, partners and staff are joining forces on social media to celebrate community heroes fighting on the frontlines and thanking doctors, nurses and all healthcare professionals in conjunction with National Doctors’ Day in the United States. Fans are invited to join the league in MLS Unites with their ideas, work, contributions, and creativity, and on social media using #MLSUnites.
Chicago Fire FC is supporting the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund and the American Red Cross. In collaboration with the City of Chicago, The Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metro Chicago launched the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund to unite the funds raised by Chicago’s philanthropies, corporations and individuals to be disbursed to nonprofit organizations across the region. The Fire is also raising awareness that blood donations are desperately needed in the state of Illinois. Donating blood products is essential to community health and eligible donors are strongly urged to donate during the COVID-19 outbreak. As part of our nation’s critical infrastructure, healthy individuals can still donate in areas that have issued shelter in place declarations.
Below is further detail of how our MLS community is uniting to inspire, inform and engage.
MLS WORKS, the League’s social responsibility platform will highlight those in communities across the U.S. and Canada that are making a difference in the fight against COVID-19 through a Community Heroes program. More details to come at a later date.
In the meantime, MLS encourages our fans and the entire soccer community to use #MLSUnites to share how they are doing their part and recognizing their local community heroes on the front lines including healthcare workers, small business owners and/or other members of the community who are helping us all get through these difficult times. Select stories will be featured weekly through League and club channels.
MLS is consulting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Canada (HC), infectious disease specialists and other public health entities to receive and share the most updated information and guidance. An essential guide about COVID-19 information for all fans can be found at mlssoccer.com/2020/covid-19 including a six-step graphic on how to prevent the spread, along with mental health information and coping tips, ways to support relief efforts and more.
MLS is joining with its media partners in the U.S., Canada and throughout the world to bring a robust programming plan to fans over the coming weeks. MLS is leveraging technology to bring the soccer community together during this time of social distancing through an enhanced fan engagement plan featuring dynamic programming and groundbreaking new content experiences. Each week classic MLS matches and new original programming will air across partner broadcast and digital channels as well as across MLSsoccer.com, the MLS app and MLS social channels.
Fans are encouraged to stay connected to their club and the MLS community through player chats, live-at-home workouts, classic games and more. Additionally, eMLS will be rolling out a robust programming lineup in the coming weeks with both esports players and MLS players.