Jersey sponsors and stadium naming rights are the two most-visible brand partnership deals a club can make. With LAFC set to make their MLS debut next month, both have been hot topics of conversation.
Way back in August 2016, LAFC simultaneously broke ground on their new stadium and announced that the 22,000 capacity stadium would be named Banc of California Stadium.
Fast-forward to the end of January. Construction of the stadium is progressing nicely and the roster is being built out. The next major announcement for LAFC? They strike an unprecedented deal to name YouTube TV both their official jersey sponsor AND local media rights holder.
While we still have to wait for the jersey unveiling (please no red YouTube logo against the black and gold color scheme of LAFC), we do have details on how the local media rights piece will play out.
Roughly half of LAFC’s matches will be available exclusively on YouTube TV for those in the LA market, with the rest being picked up by ESPN and Fox Sports for national broadcasting. So in order for LAFC fans to watch matches in English, they’re on the verge of signing a local media rights deal with KMEX for Spanish broadcasting, fans are going to have to pay $35/month for YouTube TV. If you’re already a YouTube TV subscriber in LA, then that’s a great deal for you? If you’re stuck with a cable package that potentially brings you exclusive access to other LA sports teams? Well, then you have a decision to make.
This will be fascinating to watch play out in the LA market over LAFC’s inaugural season. I applaud the decision for the unique partnership but can’t help but feel it’s going to be cost-prohibitive to some fans whom are already locked into cable packages.