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The Slide of Your Life

If you’re afraid of heights…how do I put this?

If a skyscraper of more than 70 stories doesn’t evoke a sense of wonder at being so high in the sky, a clear glass slide on the outside of said building should certainly do the trick.

Along with some possible vertigo.

Give the property owners of the U.S. Bank Tower some credit: They are gutsy and potential branding geniuses.

Starting in June, the U.S. Bank Tower will become a destination for locals and tourists alike as long as the initial reviews are positive (and safe). Local news outlets and social media will inevitably reinvigorate the buzz from today’s news and, if the thrill of gliding down a transparent slide is like a scene from Mission Impossible, this slide will become a unique L.A. experience.

More specifically: A unique U.S. Bank experience.

And experience is the optimum word: Return on Experience (ROE). If all goes well, U.S. Bank could very well become synonymous with an exciting, heart-pounding attraction.

Or, in other words, the complete opposite of banking.

Their brand would branch out beyond their serious-minded industry. U.S. Bank begins to become something more than just finance management. This company becomes an engaging story to the public.

With any good story, people always want to know what’s coming next…

P.S. $8 for a single ride, U.S. Bank? There’s a risk in this positive story morphing into a scheme of new hidden fees. Lower the price and donate proceeds to a local charity. That will get Millennials and social media on your side.   

Announcing a Flat Formation

At the end of a metaphorical 90 minutes (more than 20 years literally), this is what U.S. Soccer and Nike came up with:

  • A crest with 13 vertical stripes of red and white under a blue field is a traditional American style.
  • Seven red and 6 white stripes come directly from our flag, demonstrating that the crest is rooted in the history of our nation.
  • Uses the traditional field of blue to celebrate the three most important letters in the vocabulary of our fans, from stadiums to watch parties to the local bar – U.S.A.
  • The colors stay true to our nation’s colors with the red and blue drawn straight from the flag.
  • Notably, the new identity no longer features stars or a ball. In soccer tradition, stars are placed above the logo to represent World Cup victories. The WNT crest will prominently feature the three stars earned in 1991, 1999 and most recently, the historic 2015 victory.

(U.S. Soccer)

The new crest has uniquely American features (as listed above), yet it lacks imagination and declarative strength. This is the symbol of this burgeoning sport in America and the first impression is strikingly plain and boring.

Where is a bald eagle in striking position? The snake nobody should dare tread on?

There are countless creative design ideas that could have/should have been brainstormed for this branding endeavor.

Where is the ingenuity, that defining characteristic of soccer and this country? What does this crest convey to ourselves and our competitors? How does this new crest represent our heritage and a future of excellence?

There are 13 stripes, yes. The colors are red, white and the right shade of blue this time, yes. However, how did a design team at Nike, a company that prides itself on creativity and branding (cough cough Oregon football), submit this idea without it being April 1st? What does this crest possibly inspire for new jersey designs?

The United States of America broadly, and soccer in America specifically, has always been about a brighter tomorrow. But the new crest is a straight-forward graphic that doesn’t really tell us anything about yesterday, today or tomorrow.

U.S. Soccer desperately needs a vivid and cohesive identity on the pitch.

Flat and humdrum has already been done.