The New York Cosmos story presents the possibility of brands as cultural artifacts, to cease and be revived as is culturally necessary. What if brands, and more importantly their value, could be ‘unlocked’ when the right season returned?

April 8th, 2011 witnessed the PSFK Conference in NYC, dedicated to identifying emerging trends across advertising, art, business, design, retail, and technology. As a valuable feature of its program, PSFK invited speakers from previous years’ conferences to give quick updates. These updates revealed whether the proposed trends had endured, and cultivated a sense of continuity between conferences.

Two new speakers at this year’s PSFK conference were Daniel Cherry III and Theresa Tran from The New York Cosmos. The New York Cosmos was a legendary soccer club based in New York, which boasted internationally-famous stars like Brazil’s Pelé and Italy’s Giorgio Chinaglia, and is credited for the growth of soccer in the US. The club lasted from 1971 to 1985, when it folded due to declining attendance and in turn profitability. And thus what Cosmos biographer Gavin Newsham called “the most glamorous team in world football” ceased to exist. Or so it was thought. That is, until August 2010, when a new Cosmos franchise was announced, with former star-players Pelé as honorary president and Chinaglia as international ambassador.

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