Major League Soccer and Minnesota United have unveiled MLS Unites, a platform that highlights all of the efforts that players, coaching staff, the club and the league are doing to address the important messages and programs taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new initiative was launched in partnership with the Major League Soccer Players Association.
MNUFC is working with its community partners and players in the hopes of making a positive impact in this time of need. MNUFC and Delaware North Services donated nearly 2,000 pounds of food from Allianz Field to the Aliveness Project and Second Harvest. The Minnesota United front office is working with Allina Heath to create and donate hand-sewn facemasks to our local Allina-affiliated care centers. In partnership with our local government, MNUFC and its players are creating a PSA to support the statewide #StayHomeMN campaign. Midfielder Ethan Finlay set up a fundraiser through the Sheridan Story to help feed more than 1,000 kids in the Twin Cities, matching donations up to $1,300. Minnesota United is providing funds to the Neighbors United Funding Collaborative (NUFC) to assist businesses in their efforts to survive the economic shutdown.
As part of MLS Unites, Minnesota United will have a series of programs involving players, coaches, staff, partners and fans, that will encompass the following:
- Educate and inform fans on the importance of key health and safety messaging.
- Provide some fun and engaging content featuring players that will keep them connected to our fans and drive relevance during the postponement of the season.
- Showcase and celebrate community “heroes,” those who are fighting the pandemic on the frontlines.
“Bringing together our Major League Soccer community, all while staying apart, is the spirit of MLS Unites,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “During this challenging moment in history, I know we can count on the MLS family to come together when we need each other most. Together with our fans, players, teams and partners, we will shine a light on what can be done, and on the heroes leading the way.”
The first element of MLS Unites was unveiled yesterday afternoon with videos featuring social content from MNUFC players and staff to celebrate community heroes fighting on the frontlines and thanking doctors, nurses and all healthcare professionals in conjunction with National Doctors’ Day in the United States. Fans are invited to join the league in MLS Unites with their ideas, work, contributions, and creativity, and on social media using #MLSUnites.
Below is a sampling of how our MLS community is uniting to inspire, inform and engage.
MLS WORKS, the League’s social responsibility platform will highlight those in communities across the U.S. and Canada that are making a difference in the fight against COVID-19 through a Community Heroes program. More details to come at a later date.
In the meantime, we encourage our fans and the entire soccer community to use #MLSUnites to share how they are doing their part and recognizing their local community heroes on the front lines including healthcare workers, small business owners and/or other members of the community who are helping us all get through these difficult times. Select stories will be featured weekly through League and club channels.
MLS is consulting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Canada (HC), infectious disease specialists and other public health entities to receive and share the most updated information and guidance. An essential guide about COVID-19 information for all fans can be found here including a six-step graphic on how to prevent the spread, along with mental health information and coping tips, ways to support relief efforts and more.
MLS is joining with its media partners in the U.S., Canada and throughout the world to bring a robust programming plan to fans over the coming weeks. MLS is leveraging technology to bring the soccer community together during this time of social distancing through an enhanced fan engagement plan featuring dynamic programming and groundbreaking new content experiences. Each week classic MLS matches and new original programming will air across partner broadcast and digital channels as well as across MLSsoccer.com, the MLS app and MLS social channels.
Fans are encouraged to stay connected to their club and the MLS community through player chats, live-at-home workouts, classic games and more. Additionally, eMLS will be rolling out a robust programming lineup in the coming weeks with both esports players and MLS players.