During a festive kickoff event May 18 in Times Square, New Jersey and New York launched its official logo and brand as part of its successful Host City bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
The joint proposal was selected by FIFA last year as a host city for the world’s biggest sporting event, which comes to North America in 2026 with matches slated to be played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.
Thursday’s event followed a Wednesday night Official Brand launch by FIFA in Los Angeles, and was one of 16 such kickoffs held by fellow host cities across the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
To celebrate, FIFA, host cities, broadcasters and brands commissioned portraits of faces and places to tell their World Cup stories. Featuring landmarks, icons and well-known buildings that await visiting fans in 2026, the New Jersey/New York portraits included local heroes from the Newark Fire Department, youth soccer players from school-based programs, and fan groups from the Jersey Shore to Brooklyn.
Wednesday night, landmarks across the region – such as Vessel at Hudson Yards, One Vanderbilt, Goethals Bridge and the Oculus – were lit in Lady Liberty green.
The Times Square ceremony included glitz and glamor, with massive billboards displaying the newly unveiled logo, while the iconic New Year’s Eve Times Square Ball displayed a countdown to 2026.
The theme of the brand for the joint bid is “WE ARE NYNJ.”
The event was emceed by Giants legend Michael Strahan, and featured New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, as well as other officials and stakeholders.
“I’m really thrilled to be here as New York and New Jersey kick off their 2026 World Cup efforts,” said Strahan. “Today is an amazing day as we showcase all that New York and New Jersey has to offer, which we all know is a lot.”
Strahan said he could not think of a better place to host such a globally recognized and cherished event.
“I cannot wait for us to welcome the world at MetLife Stadium,” said Strahan. “And while we are at it, let’s not only host matches. We want to host the final. All right. There is no better place to host the final than at MetLife Stadium.”
“There’s no place like New York, New Jersey,” said Adams, who followed Strahan, describing the region as the biggest stage on the globe. “We are going to bring it here. Eight games, we believe we’re going to have. We need the finals here.”
“How exciting is this? The mayor just said it. We think we’re going to get at least eight games,” said Murphy. “That’s eight Super Bowls in six weeks. Just extraordinary. And every single ticket will be sold out, I guarantee you, no matter who’s playing. This is going to be the biggest deal we’ve ever seen in this region.”
Murphy closed out with an idea and a nod toward that potential final at MetLife Stadium.
“Let’s return here the morning of July 19, 2026. Kick it off in Times Square and then head across to the Jersey side and witness the final game of the Men’s World Cup 2026,” said Murphy. “How does that sound?”
“Mr. Mayor, with your blessing, I’ve been asked to say the following words,” Murphy added as he closed out his speech. “Let’s kick off 2026!”o