Atlanta United Gives Props to ATL’s Hip Hop Culture with New “404” Gear

Atlanta United is taking a different direction with its team imaging. One that runs through the city’s hip-hop influences.

The team, known for its black, red, and gold identity,  has introduced a new line of gear that is influenced by Atlanta’s hip-hop culture. The new imaging is based on the concept provided by local entrepreneurs Ian Ford, Bem Joiner, and Tory Edwards called “Atlanta Influences Everything,” who have found success with their Atlanta hip-hop-inspired imaging.

That concept started when it was pitched by the former marketing professionals to a contact who needed an idea for a pair of shoes.  It was rejected because the unnamed contact thought the concept was too local to market nationally. While the concept was rejected, it didn’t end their plans to give it a bigger stage.

“I was on the phone with Ben later and he was going off on one of his rants,” said Ian Ford in an interview with the Atlanta United website. “…and he just yells out: ‘How do these people not realize that Atlanta influences everything?” The three later launched a company that markets this concept with merchandise, creative consultancy, creative development, and event planning.

Now, Atlanta United is using their Atlanta-centric concept with its new imaging.

The new hip-hop-inspired jerseys, according to Atlanta United, are “inspired by the cultural and global impact of Atlanta from the 90s to now.” The special “404”  jerseys have blue and green graffiti-styled print on a black background and are available on the Atlanta United website store. They are available in team jerseys, with players Theo Almada, Giogos Giakoumakis, and “Atlanta” names and numbers on the back, as well as customizable options with the fan’s name on the back. Atlanta United had a launch party on August 24 to introduce the new image, with rapper Waka Flaka among those appearing.

These jerseys will be worn by the team on the upcoming game against Nashvile this Saturday. The kits got a preview this afternoon at an special soccer game benefiting Children’s Hospital of Atlanta, where Atlanta United staff and members of the Atlanta media squared off.  Some players in the new gear were Team 404, which included 11 Alive sports reporter Reggie Chatman, WSB TV sports reporter Alison Mastrangelo, and 929 The Game’s Abe Gordon. They lost to Team 770, 4-3.


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A post shared by Reggie Chatman Jr. (@reggiechatman)

There’s a promotional film produced by the team and Atlanta Influences Everything that breaks down the concept of the new theme. It features the narration of Atlanta notables like Big Boi from Outkast, T.I., former Brave Andru Jones, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, and former Mayor Shirley Franklin.

The developers of the “Atlanta Influences Everything” concept say Atlanta’s mix of civics, culture and commerce is paramount to it’s hip hop influenced success. From it’s roots in the Civil Rights Movement, to the presence and involvement of Atlanta ‘s corporate community to the artistic and cultural presence in the city.

“Atlanta lays the foundation for urban culture, which then dictates American pop culture, which then influences the rest of the world, said Bem Joiner, a partner in Atlanta Influences Everything. “So, it all truly starts in Atlanta.”

Which brings it down to hip hop’s ties in the Atlanta sports world. The partners in the business, who are also Atlanta United fans, think Atlanta has arrived in sports as well as hip hop.

“There’s no other way to put it: Atlanta is a sports city,” says Atlanta Influences Everything partner Ian Ford. “This city supports their teams whether they’re winning or losing. The sports culture is real down here.”

Image credit: Atlanta United/MLS