Nashville Soccer Club has unveiled their brand-new Man in Black Kit, honoring one of the most influential songwriters of all time, Johnny Cash.
Created in collaboration with the estate of Johnny Cash, Sandbox Succession and Wasserman Music, the Man in Black Kit was inspired by The Backline Supporters Collective, the club’s fans. On Feb. 29, 2020, Nashville SC inaugurated its journey in Major League Soccer in front of 59,069 fans, a state record for a soccer match. Prior to kickoff, The Backline unveiled their first ever MLS TIFO, featuring the Man in Black alongside the Nashville SC logo. Inspired by that moment, Nashville SC and Cash’s estate began collaborating to tell the story of the life and legacy of Cash.
“From the first day we started Nashville Soccer Club, we talked a lot about being ‘uniquely Nashville,’” says Nashville SC CEO Ian Ayre. “This city is steeped in music history and icons of that industry. None more so than the Man in Black himself, Johnny Cash.”
From our opening match on Feb. 29th, 2020 when our supporters, The Backline, unveiled a Tifo with that famous Johnny Cash image, there has clearly been a strong connection between both The Cash Family and the NSC family. I don’t think there can be a greater tribute to Johnny’s place in music history or Nashville than to have a team full of Men in Black take the field on behalf of Nashville SC.”
The all-black ensemble is embellished by dark graphite and iron metallic accents including a jocktag of Cash’s iconic photo at Folsom Prison, Cash’s autograph on the back of the neck, the Nashville SC crest, and an iron metallic Renasant Bank logo as well as an Adidas logo. The left sleeve celebrates the Apple and MLS partnership by featuring the Apple TV and MLS logos, and the right sleeve features the Hyundai logo.
Nashville SC will don the Man in Black Kit for the very first time on Saturday, Feb. 25 as it hosts New York City FC as the first match of the MLS Is Back weekend. Scheduled to kick off at 3:30 p.m. CT, the match will honor the collaboration with a special ‘Man in Black’ match.
“Nashville meant so much to my father, both as a historical music community and a welcoming home,” says John Carter Cash son of Cash and country legend June Carter. “Connecting the Cash legacy to Nashville Soccer Club and Major League Soccer, and the joy it’s bringing to Nashville residents, would have made him proud. I’m delighted to see the Man in Black celebrated alongside the Boys in Gold.”
To celebrate the launch of the Nashville SC Man in Black Kit, now featured on the official Nashville SC Apple Music playlist, fans can enjoy an exclusive pair of Johnny Cash singles: “God’s Gonna Cut You Down,” a rendition performed by breakout country artist Bailey Zimmerman and a take on the classic “Man in Black” by Mexican singer-songwriter and guitarist Carín León.
Following its debut, the Man in Black Kit will be featured throughout the 2023 and 2024 MLS seasons, and will be available for purchase on the club’s website. In addition to the kit, the partnership will include special collaborations, which will be offered exclusively through Fanatics, the clubs official retail partner, throughout both seasons.
Tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 18, Nashville fans have the opportunity to see and purchase the Man in Black Kit during a public event at the Walk of Fame Park (across from the Country Music Hall of Fame). The festival-like celebration will kick off at 11:30 a.m. CT with a live performance fromLeón as well as two other guests, a DJ, player appearances, photo ops and much more. Other activations include a hospitality area and Heineken Silver Beer Garden where fans can purchase four dollar Heineken products, Nashville SC player autograph tent, a stage photo opportunity, Fanatics servicing and order pickup, and Tempo the Coyote’s Band Kids Club registration, among others.
This article also appears in MusicRow‘s sister publication, The Sports Credential.
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