New York City FC players wore specially designed adidas Parley Ocean Plastic™ jerseys at their home match on Sunday, April 23. This activation comes as adidas and MLS join forces with Parley for the Oceans to raise awareness around the harmful impact of marine plastic pollution, to coincide with April 22nd - Earth Day.
Four MLS teams will wear the new uniforms—which are made from technical yarns containing Parley Ocean Plastic™—but they were seen on-pitch for the first time when NYCFC hosted Orlando City SC at Yankee Stadium.
The new MLS jerseys bring the Parley initiative to the United States for the first time. The white and grey jerseys feature alternative colorway details and are crafted from Parley Ocean Plastic™ upcycled from marine plastic intercepted by Parley clean-up operations in coastal areas of the Maldives.
To commemorate this unique process of repurposing marine plastic debris, the message “For the Oceans” is featured on the back-neck tape detailing, found inside each jersey.
The focus of the collaboration between adidas and Parley for the Oceans is the commitment to implement the Parley A.I.R. strategy (Avoid, Intercept, Redesign).
NYCFC are now auctioning off a select number of specially designed game jerseys. Proceeds will go to City in the Community (CITC), the charity proudly supported by NYCFC, using soccer to better NYC communities.
Michael Batz, adidas Vice President of Product, Global Brands, Soccer, said: “We are very proud to be working with a new partner in MLS and its participating teams to enforce the usage, messaging and awareness around the beauty and fragility of the Oceans.
"Our core brand belief is that through sport, we have the power to change lives and feel that MLS is an ideal partner to transport and establish this belief in soccer – connecting a global sport with meaningful desire to preserve the environment. It will be the first step to explore and expand future opportunities.”
Cyrill Gutsch, Founder of Parley for the Oceans, continued: "Every second breath we take is generated by the oceans. And still, we are at war with the sea. We are killing it off in rapid speed. Now is the time to negotiate peace with our life support and to invent our way out of this mess.
"Soccer can lead the way. It shows what we can achieve with the right balance of creativity, collaboration and technology. Let's accept the oceans defense as our biggest challenge and protect the air we need."
JoAnn Neale, Chief Administrative & Social Responsibility Officer, Major League Soccer, echoed the sentiments: “Major League Soccer and our clubs are committed to raising awareness about environmental issues through the League’s Greener Goals platform.
"Off the pitch, we’ll service our local communities as part of MLS WORKS Week of Service leading up to Earth Day, and we’re thrilled to support efforts on the field with adidas and Parley for the Oceans to help create a cleaner, healthier environment.”
Jon Patricof, New York City FC President, commented: “We are proud to be one of the very first MLS teams selected to wear the Parley for the Oceans jerseys. The shirts bring to life our core value of using the power of soccer to better communities.
“We are also excited to celebrate Earth Day with our fans in-stadium at our home game this Sunday, April 23. In addition, our NYCFC staff—alongside our terrific fans—will also be volunteering the day before our match for two local green causes. We are deeply committed to bettering the NYC community on Earth Day and all year long.”