Looking for the latest soccer marketing news? We’ve got you covered with and archive of sponsorship, branding, activations, broadcasting, and gaming news.
For more in-depth stories and coverage, be sure to visit our story roundup archive.
Table of Contents
- MLS is allowing teams to sell ad inventory on their left sleeve.
- Austin FC announced Q2, an Austin-based business, will be the naming partner of Q2 Stadium.
- Ahead of the NWSL season, Starbucks became the presenting partner of OL Reign’s Legends Campaign that recognizes female leaders in the Pacific Northwest ahead of each game.
- McDonald’s of Southern California partnered with LAFC to support the team’s eMLS gaming initiatives.
- In a record sponsorship deal for the NWSL, DoorDash signed a reported eight-figure deal to become Angel City FC’s jersey sponsor.
- Satisfi, a conversational AI company, has partnered with AEG and the LA Galaxy to provide in-app virtual assistants.
- Lay’s recently launched a global campaign for the UEFA Champions League featuring Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, and Lieke Martens. The worlds number one snack brand looks to bring the stadium experience to an in-home environment, as evidenced by this 30-second spot.
- TikTok is now an official sponsor of EURO 2020. The social platform will work with UEFA to launch AR effects, hashtag challenges, and more to promote the tournament. TikTok will also have access to UEFA’s historical assets.
- Amateur side NY International FC developed an interesting way to obtain sponsors. For $25 you can enter a FIFA tournament where the winner gets to choose a local business to be featured on the training jersey.
- FC Dallas has a new jersey sponsor to begin the 2021 campaign. MTX, a Frisco-based technology company, signed a multiyear partnership. Their logo will also be worn by USL League One’s North Texas SC, as well as the FC Dallas Academy & Youth teams.
- LA Galaxy announced a new partnership with LA-based technology company, Honey, who will be the official sleeve partner, as well as the team’s official online deals partner.
- The Portland Timbers and Thorns announced a sleeve sponsorship deal with TikTok. As part of the deal, the Timbers released a series of videos on TikTok, including an artist’s rendering of the new jerseys.
- Austin FC had a busy week as they prepare for their inaugural MLS season. Beverage alcohol company, Diageo North America, became a Founding Partner of the club with their Captain Morgan brand at the forefront. Austin FC also announced C4 Energy will be the club’s official energy drink.
- Angel City FC enlisted the help of founding investors Sophia Bush and Cobi Jones to help announce the club’s back-of-jersey partnership with Sprouts Farmers Market. Sprouts will help the club promote health education and increase fresh food access throughout Los Angeles.
- LAFC announced a multi-year partnership with FLEX, a division of power tool manufacturer Chevron. FLEX will serve as LAFC’s jersey sponsor and is both the club’s Official Power Tool Partner and Official Construction Tool.
- Nationwide is the NWSL’s newest league partner and is the latest national sponsor to attach themselves to the top women’s league in the world. The league and Nationwide will work closely to drive NWSL interest and build community initiatives.
- Joining Nationwide as a new NWSL sponsor is Ally, who is now the league’s first official banking partner. As part of the deal, Ally’s logo will be featured on the sleeve of every team. A portion of Ally’s sponsorship will go directly to NWSL players and Ally will be among a group of league partners working together on diversity initiatives.
- The Seattle Sounders had a busy week, so we’ll start with their newest partner. The Sounders teamed up with the Payallup Tribe’s Emerald Queen Casino in a deal that runs through 2027. The logo will feature on the right sleeve of Sounders jerseys and both will be involved in several community-based initiatives.
- Concacaf and Angry Orchard have partnered, making the Boston Beer Co. brand the official hard cider of the Concacaf Gold Cup. For cider fans, be on the look out for Angry Orchard’s Kickin’ It Mix – a 12-bottle Gold Cup variety pack.
- The first in a series of MLS sponsorship stories involves the San Jose Earthquakes entering a 10-year stadium naming rights deal with PayPal. The stadium will be known as PayPal Park. Among several highlights of the deal, attendees can take advantage of touch-free POS via PayPal or Venmo for a quicker checkout experience.
- Although they don’t begin play until the 2023 season, St. Louis CITY SC has already secured its jersey sponsor in St. Louis headquartered brand, Purina. The pet care brand is known globally and has a long history of supporting its local community.
- LAFC announced two sponsorship deals in the past week. Postmates extended its partnership with the club and the brand logo can now be found on the left jersey sleeve. Uber, who owns Postmates, also joins the team of LAFC brand partners. The second sponsorship deal LAFC announced is with Nectar Sleep. The mattress company’s logo will be front-of-jersey on the LAFC training kit.
- Columbus Crew SC announced a new community partner in KultureCity. The agreement sees the non-profit ensure all activities at New Crew Stadium are accommodating and inclusive for all guests with sensory issues as a result of autism, dementia, PTSD, and other conditions.
Branding & Partnerships News
- FC Dallas launched a program to aid black and minority-owned businesses.
- In advance of the new season and following the franchise’s departure from Salt Lake, the Kansas City franchise unveiled its crest. The full brand will be unveiled next season following input from fans.
- Lifestyle brand Black Arrow has joined forces with Wolverhampton to help grow the game in the U.S. and among the African American community.
- The Black Women’s Player Collective, Black Players for Change, adidas, and Musco Lighting are joining the U.S. Soccer Foundation in the creation of 12 new mini-pitches.
- If you’re into soccer-themed collectibles we’ve got some news for you! Coca-Cola has released Premier League team-branded cans. The bad news? You’ll have to go to Denmark to get your hands on them.
- With only a few months remaining until their inaugural MLS match, Austin FC recently unveiled their secondary jersey.
- Manchester City will introduce a two-tiered LED system that will revolutionize in-stadium signage and allow for campaigns to be shared across two levels.
- The LA Galaxy unveiled their newest jersey and it’s an instant classic that celebrates the club’s heritage and calls upon a previous design. As part of the unveil, the Galaxy also released a short cartoon.
- PSG has teamed up with CASETiFY for the clubs first-ever tech capsule. Fans can now purchase iPhone and AirPod protective cases.
- Alex Morgan is among the four co-creators of TOGETHXR, a media and commerce company that will focus on storytelling in the lifestyle and youth culture space. Her fellow creators? Chloe Kim, Sue Bird, and Simone Manuel.
- Ahead of the NWSL season, Sky Blue FC has rebranded as NJ/NY Gotham FC. The rebrand is a result of fan research and a desire to extend the team’s roots further into the New York market while maintaining its connected to New Jersey.
Soccer Gaming News
- eMLS and SCUF gaming released MLS-branded PlayStation controllers.
- EA Sports reached a deal with UEFA for continued exclusivity for the UEFA Champions League and Europa League in the FIFA game franchise. EA Sports has held these rights since 2018.
- Fortnite’s crossover with sports, particularly soccer, continues with Neymar being added as a playable skin. He becomes the first real-life athlete to be featured in the game. We recently wrote about Fortnite’s collaboration with the sport and the opportunity it presents marketers and brands.
Soccer Broadcasting News
- Need more soccer to watch? ESPN+ added rights to Belgian Pro League. In a 5-year streaming deal, fans can expect to see three games a week.
- The offerings of new OTT streaming platform, Paramount+, were unveiled. Included are the Champions League, Europa League, and NWSL. New to the mix are the Brazilian and Argentine leagues, as well as an Alex Ferguson documentary.
- In case you didn’t have enough to watch, there’s good news out of South Korea for American soccer fans. The K League launched an OTT platform to stream all league games. The platform is free of charge for the time being.
- Peacock recently streamed a Premier League match in both English and Spanish for the first time ever. The Spanish broadcast featured lead-in with the Telemundo Deportes family of talent.
- Univision has acquired the Spanish-language rights for the 2021 Copa América. The network will feature this tournament, as well as the UEFA Champions League Final, Concacaf Gold Cup, UEFA Euros, and others in their Summer of Champions. Univision also acquired the rights to the 2022 Women’s Copa América.
- CBS officially announced their acquisition of several properties as it continues to bolster its soccer offerings. In addition to the English-language rights for UEFA Champions League, Europa League, and the NWSL, CBS will be the new home for the top leagues in Italy, Argentina, and Brazil. CBS will also be the home for Concacaf World Cup Qualifying.
Soccer Activation News
- Stay tuned!
Miscellaneous Soccer News
- In NWSL, Sacramento was announced as an expansion franchise, joining the league in 2022.
- Citing a desire to support female athletes and the women who inspired her, tennis star Naomi Osaka announced she’s now a part owner of the North Carolina Courage.
- Ahead of the SheBelieve Cup, U.S. Soccer announced the formation of an ambassador program aimed at elevating organizations positively impacting girls & women.
- Cristiano Ronaldo – maybe you’ve heard of him – is the first person in the world to reach 500 million followers across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- MLS announced Sola Winley as the league’s first EVP & Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. In this position Winley will, among other things, lead efforts to increase representation and retention of underrepresented groups within the league and team offices, as well as team technical and coaching staffs.
- TOCA Football will soon launch TOCA Social, a Topgolf-like venue for soccer-themed entertainment and gaming in a social setting. The first venue the brand hopes will revolutionize the soccer experience is slated to open at The O2 in London later this summer.
- The 1990 FIFA World Cup is considered an important moment in design for the soccer industry. Check out the background on why the tournament ushered in a new era of creativity and made a lasting impact on marketing and design.
- AI video generation platform Synthesia recently worked with UEFA Champions League partner Lay’s to allow fans to create video messages with Lionel Messi.
- Manchester City has partnered with blockchain-based fan engagement platform Socios.com to create $CITY tokens. Fans can use tokens to access rewards, promotions, and more on the Socios site.
- In need of a new jersey to help a great cause? MLS and eMLS released a special edition jersey with Coca-Cola. Sales of the jersey will benefit The Special Olympics.
- The second bit of Sounders news comes from the release of their newest jersey inspired by Seattle-native Jimi Hendrix. His cover of All Along the Watchtower can be heard prior to every Sounders home game.
- We can’t not plug the new collection MLS and Mitchell & Ness dropped celebrating the teams in the league or in operation in other leagues in 1996. Do you miss the San Jose Clash or Dallas Burn? Here’s your chance to scoop some gear!