It’s not white.
In fact, the Philadelphia Union’s new secondary jersey is many things their last away jersey was not.
Dubbed the BYIU kit (the I is a lightning bolt), the new Union jersey is a stark departure from previous away kits for the club with a move toward a color scheme and design referencing the city of Philadelphia, the state of Delaware, the state of New Jersey and the Sons of Ben supporters group, complete with lightning bolts.
“The new kit is truly by the fans, by ‘the U.’ Fans wanted colors influenced by the flags of the Delaware Valley, a design inspired by innovation born in our city, and they wanted to shock the soccer world,” said Doug Vosik, Chief Marketing Officer, Philadelphia Union, in a news release. “This kit is Philadelphia. The gritty, beautiful, diverse, creative place that we all love. As a Philly native and an original season ticket holder years before working at the Union, I have not had a prouder moment in bringing our community together to shape the future of our club.”
A committee of fans and media representatives known as the Union Creators’ Collective — yours truly and Doopy Brothers co-host Luke McClung were part of it — began meeting two years ago to consult on the design in what was intended to be a change kit for the team.
From the news release:
The Blue and Yellow Union kit, or the “BY|U” kit, features a blue base with a tonal lightning pattern with bolt yellow accents bringing to life what could be called the most famous science experiment in history. Lightning is unpredictable, but it strikes with a speed and sudden power that electrifies everything in its path. This symbolizes the Union’s unique and energetic style of play.
On the left chest sits the Union’s logo in colors derived from the flags of Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Delaware and are also a nod to the branding of Union supporters’ group, the Sons of Ben. After making history in 2020 as the first MLS club to have multiple partner logos on their home kit (Bimbo) and away kits (Artesano); Artesano, a brand of long-time jersey sponsor Bimbo Bakeries USA, remains as the primary sponsor for the secondary kit.
“Energy and persistence conquer all” is featured on the necktape, a quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin and his belief that nothing could defeat the combination just like this city and team. Lastly, flying high above the player name and number, there’s a kite and key icon on the back of the jersey. Innovation is in Philadelphia’s DNA, and never more clearly than when electricity was harnessed from the sky with only a kite and a key.
The jersey is available now for pre-order to fans who signed up for the Kit Launch experience and will be available MLSStore.com and Adidas.com on February 5 at 10 a.m. ET.
For every jersey pre-ordered in the exclusive window or purchased at the kit launch experience on February 5, 6, 8, and February 12-14, official jersey sponsor Bimbo will donate five loaves of Artesano bread, up to 2,500 loaves, to the food insecure population of Chester through CityTeam.
The 2021 Kit Launch experiential event will take place Feb. 5, 6, and 8 and February 12-14 at Subaru Park. Subaru and the Union are collecting and donating soccer equipment for the love of our Philadelphia Area Communities. Fans can bring new or gently used soccer gear to the Kit Launch experience for local youth soccer programs.