Update: A few designers requested that I extend the contest, so I added another 3 days to the opening round. After seeing the designs that were submitted, I can give a little more specific direction.
Here's what does not work for the brand: swoopy generic figures playing soccer, cartoonish animals, smiling soccer balls.
The designs that have been the most successful for me have used unique fonts and subtle symbols. I like seeing designs with something symbolic of the game (a cleat or shoe, the soccer ball or the pentagon shape that the balls are made of). The best designs also have a professional and mature feel to them, as well as a fun feel. The league is open to all, and the logo has to feel inviting to all, but most of the players will probably be men in their 20s and 30s, so the logo has to feel mature enough and string enough to appeal to young men. It's a tough challenge, but that's what I'm asking.
And now without further ado, the original brief:
I'm creating a recreational soccer (football) league based in New York City. We welcome all adults with all skill levels. We want to create a community of players who don't care what the score is at the end of the match - the true goal of playing is to get a good workout, have fun, and enjoy "the beautiful game"!
We aim to provide fun games with more playing time, more touches on the ball, and a stress-free environment, all at a lower cost.
It's very important that the logo feels inviting, not intimidating. We want anyone - the 20 year old beginner or the 40 year old pro - to feel like this is a welcoming atmosphere and they'd be willing to sign up and give it a try.
At the end of the game we want everyone to walk away feeling good! It's all about positive vibes!
This league is for the player who wants to have fun, so our members will play hard but not be overly competitive. I'd like the design to avoid things like flames, lightning bolts, fierce animals, and other elements often associated with "win at all costs" sports mentality.
Feel free to get creative and have fun with it!