Every year in the MLS there’s a game fans have dubbed “El Tráfico.” It’s a regular fútbol (or soccer) match, except it isn’t. It features the two LA teams, the LA Galaxy and the LAFC – and the two fanbases, of course. Simply put, it’s an LA fútbol derby. And this year Adidas is using the background of the game to celebrate the beautiful differences that make up LA’s vibrant Latin American communities.
The short film at the center of the campaign features inspiring narration and striking imagery as it showcases how these communities come together through fútbol. The sport has been shaped and has shaped so many of our communities, and this extends beyond the city limits of Los Angeles. But the specific example of this rivalry is a great background to examine the importance of fútbol, particularly in a year that will see the biggest competition in the sport, the World Cup, takes place in November.
But the campaign goes even further, by showcasing how the LA Galaxy’s cultural identity aligns with its Chicano and Central American fanbase, and what that means imagery-wise. It also shows Galaxy’s connection to some iconic Central American people and places such as the mural of Padre Romero, El Salvador’s national hero, and El Rincon Hondureño, an iconic Honduran restaurant.
For the LAFC, meanwhile, the film took inspiration from the fanbase’s fashion and cultural ties with Mexican traditions like Día de Los Muertos and iconic symbols like La Catrina. It also features voices like a traditional Huichol family from Nayarit, Mexico, and a Punk LAFC fan group called Outside Hooligan, to capture the overall mood of LAFC culture.
The game is one of only two crosstown series in MLS. The other one is the Hudson River Derby, which involves the two New York MLS teams.