THE SONS OF BEN
When we got involved with the Sons of Ben, we were just fans of the group and the team. Over a few years we grew to know a lot of the leadership and we started to work with them on lots of new projects. The Sons of Ben are unique in the fact that they were the first gorup to actually form before there was a team and were instrumental in bringing professional soccer to Philly. The SoBs and are now one of the largest groups in MLS, so much so that Topps cards approached us to design their MLS supporters series of card for them, beginning with the SoBs. What you see here is just the tip of the iceberg in what we've done for the Sons of Ben over the last 6-7 years
A UNIQUE IDENTITY
The logo(which was designed by one of the founding members) had, over time, been used in a variety of inconsistent ways, so we started to pull together a brand expression book. Not one that really set forth a whole bunch of corporate rules, but one that allowed a certain amount of flexibility of using the mark within the supporter culture. It became more about consistent applications through a wide array of media - even down to designing knitting patterns. It was also a way of inspiring supporters in finding new ways to express our brand without changing it. As a federally registered 501c3 it was important that brand applications were consistent.
Merchandise provides a large boost of income for the group, that helps allow them to perform their community outreach programs. They key with this type of merchandise, is to provide designs that speak directly to the fan about a favorite player, or a moment, but still providing quality designs. Scarves are particularly popular and we have designed dozens for the group over the years. They also can't use the team logo, so there are some boundaries that need to be observed. Fortunately we've built the brand to a position where that doesn't matter any more. There are also production cost implications, vendor coordination and risk mitigation, that needs to be managed so that money is never misused.
WEBSITE AND APP DESIGN
For the Start of the 2014 season a new revamped and fully responsive website was launched, taking advantage of various APIs so that we could inform the fanbase of weather, traffic and other conditions whilst en-route to the game, as well as providing a whole host of other features, such as a chant library, design repository, merchandise, ticket purchasing, news feeds and mail chimp archive. The app, was designed but never programmed, and houses many of the same features as the website, with a few additional thrown in, such as a directions section, fixture list, eTickets and stadium guide. Designed specifically to be a one-stop-shop for fans and a lot easier to use on-the-go.