USL PRO MINUS THE PRO
Yesterday, the league formerly known as the USL PRO announced a rebranding. As a whole, I am very happy and impressed with the rebrand. To recap, first the USL PRO dropped the PRO. They felt it was redundant to say PRO when if you spell out United Soccer League, you can assume that it is a professional league. Their focus in the rebrand seems to be on the United part of USL. With the addition of thirteen new clubs, the new divisional setup and increased attendance, a rebrand was a timely move. The rebrand also includes a required HD output video stream of every single game via the team's Youtube channels. The out of town fans of each club benefit greatly from this adjustment. #USLRising or The USL Rising is a popular term they have adopted, evident here in the video detailing the rebranding. The logo (pictured below) merits a discussion by itself. The league's idea and explanation behind the new logo is rather than a corporate singular logo, this new logo is a customizable canvas. As you can see by clicking here, all the USL teams are given a team specific altered logo. It's an innovative idea, I'll give them that. But, the logo below, is still the logo you will see when you see anything USL related. And to say that the navy USL with a slice through each letter is boring, would be a grave understatement. So while I give the deep-thinkers of the USL a big kudos for the overall rebrand and the creative logic for the customizable logo, the league's official logo was a huge swing and a miss, in my opinion.
HD FOR ALL AND FOR ALL A GOOD SIGHT
Along with the rebranding of the USL, I mentioned all games must now be streamed online in high definition for each team. According to a press release from the Battery, they will go forward alongside official partner Tourbeau Sports Group, which is a soccer-specific video streaming company. That means at least 17 games will be broadcast in HD at Blackbaud Stadium on the Battery's Youtube channel via TSG. Along with this new partnership, the club will be able to include custom graphics, instant replays and the ability to watch archived matches in their entirety in HD. The only possible negative of the situation is that due to the new HD streaming, the games will no longer be broadcast via radio. Don't fret though, team President and longtime radio play by play man Andrew Bell will still be the voice bringing you the Battery action, it will just be through the HD video medium now. The new technology will be making its debut during the much awaited Carolina Challenge Cup beginning February 21st. All the CCC games will be broadcast in HD through the team's Youtube channel.
SPEAKING OF THE CAROLINA CHALLENGE CUP
The first night of the CCC usually sells out...in February right before the tournament begins. This year however, the CCC opening night sold out in record time in January! With Orlando City S.C. and New York City F.C. making their MLS debuts, the new Houston Dynamo affiliation, the USL rebranding and just an uptick in soccer interest, the CCC is a hot commodity. Tickets are selling quickly for the rest of the games and judging by how quick Night 1 sold out, I wouldn't wait too long to pick some up!