LOS ANGELES -- FIFA announced the logo and branding for the 2026 World Cup on Wednesday, with the slogan "WE ARE 26".
The logo is simple in its design, with the World Cup trophy superimposed on a white number 26 with the "2" stacked on top of the "6". Color will eventually be added by the individual brands of the 16 host cities, 11 in the United States, two in Canada and three in Mexico. The city versions of the logo will be revealed on Thursday.
"WE ARE 26 is a rallying cry," said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. "It's a moment when three countries and an entire continent collectively say: 'We are united as one to welcome the world and deliver the biggest, best and most inclusive FIFA World Cup ever.
The tournament will enable each host country and participating team to write their own page in the history books of FIFA World Cups, and this unique brand is a major step on that road to 2026."
The event amounted to an unofficial kickoff for the 2026 World Cup, the first with 48 teams, and was held at Los Angeles' Griffith Observatory, allowing for attendees to take in a commanding view of the L.A. basin.
Numerous soccer luminaries were in attendance, including World Cup winners Ronaldo, Carli Lloyd, Christen Press, Tobin Heath and Youri Djorkaeff. The game's biggest stakeholders were also on hand, including Concacaf president and FIFA vice president Victor Montagliani, MLS commissioner Don Garber, U.S. Soccer Federation CEO J.T. Batson, Mexico Football Federation head Yon De Luisa, and Canada Soccer Association interim president Charmaine Crooks.
Other attendees including long-time soccer broadcast journalist Andres Cantor, former Mexico international Jorge Campos, former Canada international Craig Forrest, and former U.S. women's national team manager and current San Diego Wave president Jill Ellis. Former U.S. international Alexi Lalas and Telemundo host Ana Jurka emceed the event.
Infantino made news recently when he stated that the biggest footballing countries in Europe were not paying enough money for the broadcast rights to this summer's Women's World Cup. During a brief availability with reporters, Infantino provided an update on the state of talks.
"Some discussions have taken place; have started, I have to say, at a bit of a different level," he said. "So it is moving and I think it is important to understand here where we are coming from. We are investing in the women's game. We are investing in women's football."
He added, that "audience figures are there that are very similar to the men's game, that the sport is actually very, very entertaining and it's is fascinating and we just want that the [women's] game is respected and that the right money is paid for that because whatever is paid is going back not only a hundred percent, but 150% in developing the women's game."
Infantino declined to be drawn into whether the fact that Los Angeles was hosting the brand launch meant that it would host the 2026 World Cup final. "Of course Los Angeles is an important city, is one of the 16 [host] cities," he said.
"But obviously it is a hub. It is an entry hub in America. It is the city where the final of the last World Cup in United States was played as well. We don't know yet where the final of this World Cup will be played. This is still up for grabs, so to say. So please send us your offers and make sure that we beef up the proposals, but Los Angeles will be one of the important cities of this World Cup, definitely."
Montagliani added "the match schedule is being worked on as we speak" and that "We're probably on version 88 because there are so many things to consider, including kickoff times, making sure the teams travel in the proper clusters, time zones, elevations.
"It's not just as easy as saying who gets that game and who gets this game," he said. "So we'll continue to do that. And as we said, we'll probably have an announcement later on in the year on that."