At the start of the month, the Union, in conjunction with Rush Order Tees, announced the #DesignOrDie contest. It’s a pretty standard t-shirt design contest, with two tickets to a Union game, a tour of the training facility, and more goodies on the line for the entrant with the best custom shirt. Additionally, the shirt will be handed out at the Union’s fan appreciation night on October 1st.
You all know where this is going.
The Union stink, and people are understandably unhappy with many aspects of the franchise—from the team itself, to the staff that assembled it, to the ownership group that finances it. So, when the Union announced a competition where a frustrated fanbase could slap literally anything on a t-shirt and submit it publicly, people got to work.
For the full list of submissions, or to submit your own design, check out the contest page. You may notice that the most critical shirts have been placed down at the bottom. This is no coincidence. A quick search of the #DesignOrDie hashtag on Twitter shows that the entries aren’t displayed in chronological order. That’s why the bottom seven rows are populated by shirts with pictures of Bimbo bread.
Here are some of my favorite designs so far:
This is one of the many shirts that are critical of Philadelphia Union Owner Jay Sugarman, and it encapsulates fans’ two main issues with him: His unwillingness to spend big money on Designated Players, and his seeming obliviousness about the state of the club in today’s MLS. The helicopter, which comprises the entire design of another t-shirt, is in reference to the 2015 U.S. Open Cup Final, which Sugarman traveled to by helicopter.
Speaking of the Open Cup, this shirt commemorates the Union’s consecutive second-place finishes in the competition.
Arrested Development reference? Check. Sugarman’s ridiculous beachside headshot that has featured on the Union’s website since the team’s inception? Check. Good shirt.
I like it, but I feel like it could be improved.
Hm. Not quite the direction I was thinking.
This shirt gets straight to the point and is pretty polite in doing so, considering the message it’s trying to deliver.
This is the evolved version of the previous shirt. It doesn’t even try to integrate the team’s colors; Sugarman’s name is misspelled; the text seemingly stretches into the armpits; and all punctuation is eschewed. This is far and away the best entry in the contest, and, in a just world, Union employees would be firing this shirt out of a handheld cannon in 10 days’ time.
What shirt is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!