Soccer Marketing News
Mike Koeshartanto

Soccer Marketing News Links

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.

Sponsorship News

  • MLS is allowing teams to sell ad inventory on their left sleeve.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hyperice is U.S. Soccer’s newest multi-year partner. The recovery and performance tech company will provide all U.S. Soccer teams with access to their products both and and off the field.
  • MLS and Proctor & Gamble have entered a five-year partnership. P&G will sponsor some of the league’s top events, including the MLS All-Star Game. MLS content will also feature on P&G products, like Old Spice.
  • AutoNation has signed a multi-year partnership with Inter Miami. The Ft. Lauderdale-based company secured a naming rights deal for the stadium and the club’s training jerseys. The stadium will be called DRV PNK Stadium to increase awareness of AutoNation’s fight against cancer.
  • The NWSL Challenge Cup kicked off over the weekend, which allowed for the debut of two new jersey sponsors in the league. First, Palmer Square partnered with Kansas City and will contribute ten percent of its partnership revenue to the local community. Second, Avaya is now the jersey sponsor of newly-rebranded Gotham FC.
  • The Portland Timbers announced a multi-year partnership with Luckii, an Oregon-based casino. Luckii is the official online gaming partner of the Timbers and the two will collaborate on in-game / on-field sponsorships, online promos, charitable efforts, and a Timbers-themed game.
  • Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg is now the official away jersey sponsor of Chattanooga FC. The two teams and cities share a unique connection via Volkswagen. Another key goal of the partnership is to return a women’s team to Chattanooga in 2022.
  • Following in the footsteps of SNHU’s groundbreaking partnership with MLS, the league has partnered with the University of South Carolina to continue online educational offerings to current and former players.
  • FC Cincinnati has a naming rights partner for their brand new stadium in Total Quality Logistics (TQL). The Cincinnati-based logistics company enters a multi-year partnership and will receive interior and exterior signage, a seating zone, branded bar area, and more. The stadium is set to host its first game on Sunday, May 16.

Branding & Partnerships News

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Verizon and Univision have entered a multi-year partnership allowing the broadcast network to deliver 5G viewing experiences to Liga MX fans. Univision will launch TUDN Vision, including, among other things, 360 degree camera views in stadiums.
  • Pepsi and Lay’s have partnered to contribute $1 million over three years to underserved Black and Hispanic soccer communities. The PepsiCo brands are working with Chicharito, as well as eleven soccer organizations across the country.

Digital & Gaming Soccer News

  • TUDN has introduced a new weekly video and audio podcast, Hablemos Soccer, to discuss all things MLS. The video portion will be released on TUDN’s YouTube channel on Mondays, while the audio version will drop on audio platforms on Tuesdays.
  • 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.
  • Any conversation involving soccer over the past few weeks certainly involved the Super League. Fans of the sport took their thoughts to social media to the tune of over 180,000 posts on Twitter. These posts accumulated just under 860 million impressions and over 4 million engagements according to Zoomph.
  • You may recall the announcement that Neymar was set to become the first professional athlete to be featured as a playable skin in Fortnite. The actual skin creative was revealed and Neymar lacks PSG or Brazil branding, despite playable team skins being featured in the game. Curious why games like Fortnite represent a marketing opportunity? We’ve got you covered.
  • This past weekend the Premier League joined other soccer entities in a content blackout to help challenge social media platforms to do more in stopping online abuse.

Soccer Broadcasting News

  • 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 ItalyArgentina, and Brazil. CBS will also be the home for Concacaf World Cup Qualifying.
  • fuboTV has acquired the streaming rights to South America’s 70 remaining World Cup qualifying games. The streaming platform takes over from Fanatiz and will produce shoulder content, as well as pre-game, post-game, and halftime shows.
  • CBS Sports and Paramount+ acquired exclusive English-language rights in the U.S. to Concacaf’s National Team properties. This includes more than 200 games in Concacaf qualifiers for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, as well as the Men’s and Women’s Concacaf Nations League.
  • FOX Sports reached a multiyear deal with CONMEBOL to broadcast over 1,500 hours of South American competitions. The deal kicks off with this summer’s Copa America and runs through the 2026 Women’s Copa America tournament.
  • Ahead of Euro 2021, Univision announced it will broadcast every game of the competition on its free platforms. Univision and TUDN will show a combined 11 games, while the remaining 40 games will be available to stream via PrendeTV.

Soccer Activation News

  • Stay tuned!

Miscellaneous Soccer News

  • 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.
  • Manchester City has partnered with blockchain-based fan engagement platform 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!
  • The first primarily American ownership group to purchase stake in a Mexican Liga MX club includes, among others, Eva Longoria, Mesut Ozil, Kate Upton, and Justin Verlander. The group is set to own 50% of Club Necaxa.
  • Did you know NBA superstar Kevin Durant is a minority owner of the Philadelphia Union? He’s one of several NBA players with a financial stake in MLS. The New York Times discussed Durant’s ownership experience where, it turns out, he’s a very active participant behind the scenes.
  • Everyone’s favorite Skittles-loving, golf cart-driving former NFL player, Marshawn Lynch, has joined the ownership group of his hometown Oakland Roots of the USL Championship.
  • USL League Two announced its newest member last week. Fans of the U.S. Open Cup may remember Christos FC fondly as it made a memorable run in recent years. The Baltimore-based club is famously sponsored by a local liquor store, Christos Liquors. A professional team in Vermont, Vermont Green FC, was also announced last week. The league in which the team will play has yet to be announced.
  • To celebrate Earth Day, MLS WORKS, the league, and its clubs pledged to plant 27,000 trees in local communities. The work will be done in cooperation with One Tree Planted and, in total, will cover 67 acres of land or 38 soccer fields in size. Fans are encouraged to pledge their support and add to the total.
  • Also in the world of environmental conservation, the Philadelphia Union and club partner, Subaru, have set a goal of making Subaru Park the first zero landfill stadium in MLS. To ensure no trash is sent to a landfill, Subaru will incorporate elements of its own Zero Landfill philosophy used to reduce the company’s environmental footprint.
  • USL Championship side Queensboro FC announced plans to build a 7,500 seat stadium. The team will play on the campus of York College at the first soccer-specific stadium to be built in New York City.
  • MLS partner, FanHub, was acquired by sports data and tech company, Genius Sports. The acquisition helps bring FanHub’s free-to-play drafts, bracket challenges, pick ’ems, and more into Genius Sports’ existing data solutions.

Categories: Digital Content, Major League Soccer, Premier League, Research, Sponsorship