Min­neso­ta Unit­ed FC
Designing a Team, Developing a Movement

The chal­lenge: Reimag­ine Min­neso­ta soc­cer from every angle

When MN United asked Zeus Jones to create an identity for the new soccer club in 2013, the stakes were considerable. But we raised them even higher. Through a design that inspired the team, countless fans and even retail partners, MN United has already been recognized as one of the most iconic U.S. sports teams — and will be joining Major League Soccer in 2017.

Nick Rogers
Pres­i­dent, Min­neso­ta Unit­ed FC

Pri­or to join­ing MN Unit­ed, I was a lawyer. I knew noth­ing of the cre­ative com­mu­ni­ty in this town and didn’t under­stand agen­cies. But I was told, You have to talk to these guys.” And hir­ing Zeus Jones was one of the best deci­sions I’ve made in my pro­fes­sion­al life.

Brad Surcey
Design­er & Part­ner, Zeus Jones

From the onset, it was more than a design thing to us. We knew that we were going to deliv­er the design but we also knew that the design would be doing the heavy lift­ing as far as mar­ket­ing the team — at least for the near term. So we need­ed to cre­ate some­thing rev­er­en­tial, whether you were the biggest soc­cer fan in the world or com­plete­ly clue­less that we play soc­cer in Minnesota.

Sim­ply put, we decid­ed that we would have to out­de­sign every oth­er sports team in the world. And that’s how we’d win.

We had high hopes from the begin­ning, but every day we’re sur­prised by how far fans have tak­en it.

Our goal was to cre­ate some­thing that was tru­ly of Min­neso­ta, not just for Min­neso­ta. In the end, we com­bined sev­er­al of our favorite ideas into one crest. The loon is the ani­mal most close­ly asso­ci­at­ed with our state. The blue stripe rep­re­sents the mighty Mis­sis­sip­pi Riv­er while the gray col­or is a nod to the rough mate­r­i­al of the Iron Range.

Nick Rogers

Our mark real­ly helps us tell our sto­ry and bring peo­ple into our cul­ture — there is mean­ing behind every ele­ment. It’s some­thing that our play­ers, our employ­ees and our fan base are all proud to wear and display.

The design received near­ly uni­ver­sal acclaim and put us on the map very quickly.

Nick Rogers
Alex Register
Design­er, Zeus Jones

It’s been real­ly cool to see the team take the design and run with it to make a mil­lion dif­fer­ent T-shirts, jack­ets, hats and more. Third-par­ty man­u­fac­tur­ers are tak­ing ele­ments from it and apply­ing them to their prod­ucts. It just speaks to the pow­er of the iden­ti­ty and how it can be bro­ken apart and used in a bunch of ways. It’s been real­ized across a bunch of things — and always looks amazing.

Nick Rogers

Even out­side our own mar­ket, peo­ple want­ed that mer­chan­dise. You could and still see it every­where. We hit above our weight.

I tell our staff this all the time: I don’t con­sid­er us being in the sports busi­ness. I con­sid­er us oper­at­ing in the cul­ture busi­ness. We give peo­ple things to talk about. And our design stands for ideas. It’s some­thing that peo­ple are proud to wear and dis­play — both our play­ers, employ­ees and fan base.

Nick Rogers

I think the most telling thing about the work is how we’ve stayed in touch. For exam­ple, when we start­ed dis­cussing the team’s poten­tial (now def­i­nite) move to MLS, our first call was to Zeus Jones to dis­cuss how we want­ed to han­dle this tran­si­tion and exe­cute against it. I want their input on every­thing — from cus­tomer expe­ri­ence to sig­nage and beyond.

I can’t wait to see how Zeus deliv­ers on this next moment in our history.

Nick Rogers