In the sport of soccer nothing symbolizes the bond between club and supporter more than the team's official kit. The one true memento a person can wear with pride to represent their favorite team. When someone passes you by on the street and sees your shirt, they know instantaneously which club you support.
If you're a hardcore Mouths of the South listener you've heard Sam and Eric discuss how important the first Atlanta United kit release will be. (If you're not a listener yet, what is wrong with you?)
Atlanta United don't have a kit yet. We already know that the club's home kit will resemble that of famous Italian club AC Milan's iconic black and red striped look.
Photo credit: Claudio Villa/Getty Images
What we don't know is when it will be released to the public. Usually just before every MLS season kicks off each team in the league takes turns unveiling a new kit. That timetable just isn't going to work for Atlanta United on any level.
One reason that short time span just isn't feasible is that supporters would only have weeks to scramble to buy a kit before the season starts. Assuming the number of season ticket deposits correlate to the number of people who want to buy a kit, the demand would be way too huge to supply in that short of time.
Another pretty significant reason would be that the club would be losing out on a rather significant stream of revenue if they wait until next February or March to release their first kit. The hype around the club will be boiling throughout these next 12 months, but the time the calendar turns to 2017 the pot will be overflowed. The club have a huge opportunity here and must capitalize on it.
An Atlanta United spokesperson told Dirty South Soccer that MLS allows teams to work within their own timelines for kit reveals. They also say that they are working closely currently with adidas to pinpoint a delivery time.
This means that the club has the freedom to release their home kit whenever they'd like. This is gives Atlanta United the chance to formulate a calculated release to capitalize on all the impending hype around the team. But, when would be the best time for a release like this to happen?
Of course everyone wants it to happen ASAP, but that's just not good business. The club needs to pick a specific time/date/event to plan their release around.
There's no better time and place to announce something big than MLS Cup. It's the biggest and most dramatic spotlight the league has all year. I'm positive that the league and the team could corroborate a special unveiling of the team's first kit during the week leading up to MLS Cup. This would not only allow for the club to receive a national spotlight, but also give supporters the chance to purchase the first ever kit before the holiday season kicks into high gear.
As we've seen with the logo/name announcement, this club has a flair for the dramatic event. Give them the spotlight and allow them to show the world what the club's first ever kit will look like.
MLS Cup was played on December 6th last year. Assuming it's held around the same time this season, that would give supporters a full four months to load up on kits before the season kicks off, that's an appropriate and fair amount of time for both sides of the equation.