April 15, 2015 SOCCER BUSINESS
Have a Coke and a Bud
Major League Soccer is now a Coca-Cola league. The beverage brand signed a four-year agreement to sponsor the league, a deal that also includes U.S. Soccer and a renewal of the company's standing partnership with the Mexican National Team’s U.S. Tour.
April 2, 2015 SOCCER BUSINESS
Puma re-ups Italy, MLS goes global
Major League Soccer has stated its intention of being one of the top leagues in the world, and increasingly, fans around the globe are getting an opportunity to see what the league has to offer. The league, through its international TV sales partner IMG, is now distributing its games in the United Kingdom, Brazil, the Middle East and part of Africa.
March 20, 2015 SOCCER BUSINESS
MLS adds three sponsors
Major League Soccer kicked off its season with huge crowds for expansion franchises in Orlando and New York City, and added three new national sponsors to boot.
March 3, 2015 SOCCER BUSINESS
USL makes changes at the top
After a busy offseason which saw the addition of 13 teams, the United Soccer League's senior leadership is also undergoing a massive change. Tim Holt, who has served as USL President since 2009 and has been with the organization since 1999, is leaving to pursue other opportunities and is being replaced by Jake Edwards.
July 14, 2014 SOCCER BUSINESS
Big week for adidas
It's been a big week for global sportswear brand adidas. The country most closely associated with the three stripes brand won the World Cup on Sunday, but that win just capped off two other deals for the company which reached a ten-year agreement with Manchester United to become the team's apparel brand, while also renewing a deal with the Mexican Football Federation for El Tri.
July 10, 2014 STILL WATCHING
Fans tuning into World Cup in record numbers
Any notion that American fans would completely lose interest in the World Cup once the United States was eliminated have been proven false, with ESPN continuing to set record breaking audience numbers through the semi-finals.
June 9, 2014 SOCCER BUSINESS
Dempsey jersey is top seller
Seattle Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey tops Major League Soccer's list of most popular jerseys. The U.S. Men’s National Team captain vaulted to the top of the list after signing with Seattle in August 2013.
May 15, 2014 SOCCER BUSINESS
Soccer’s broadcast boom
The big buzz in the soccer industry is about soccer on television, and it's not just Major League Soccer's new big-bucks deal with Fox Sports, ESPN and Univision. Ratings for international events have hit record numbers, with those no doubt expected to continue through the upcoming World Cup, and college soccer is getting a big boost with a package of games on the new SEC Network.
May 12, 2014 TRIPLE THREAT
MLS get big jump in fees in TV deal with Fox, ESPN, Univision
NEW YORK-- Major League Soccer is getting a significant bump in both its television exposure, and the amount of money it will collect to broadcast those games. Three major broadcasters; ESPN, Fox Sports and Univision have partnered for eight years starting in 2015 to televise a package of MLS games, as well as a package of U.S. Soccer matches.
April 28, 2014 SOCCER BUSINESS
Topps hopes to score with MLS license
Long known for producing baseball cards, Topps, Inc. hopes to find a new collector's market with its Major League Soccer card set. The New York-based company signed a long term deal with Soccer United Marketing last year, and just recently came out with its 2014 retail MLS product.
March 19, 2014 SOCCER BUSINESS
MISL preparing for (another) reboot
The ever-turbulent world of indoor soccer continued to churn with Monday’s announcement by the United Soccer Leagues that it plans to restructure the Major Indoor Soccer League, and that several of the league's existing teams would not return, putting the 2014-15 season in doubt.
January 22, 2014 SOCCER BUSINESS
Pepsi builds a super team
Pepsi Cola has put together a global all-star team to promote its brand, a lineup that would be the envy of any free-spending European club—if it was a lineup that were to actually take the field.
January 19, 2014 SOCCER BUSINESS
Voit partners with NASL
Ever since soccer balls stopped being just black and white hexagons, one of the most iconic designs has been the red, white and blue stars design of the North American Soccer League. First implemented in 1974, the ball’s design had a rebirth with the re-launch of the league four years ago. Now Voit, perhaps better known for volleyballs and basketballs, hopes to capitalize on the design.
December 23, 2013 SOCCER BUSINESS
For Barca, Intel Inside
Barcelona has found another way to extract even more dollars out of lucrative shirt advertising--by getting a company to put their logo on the inside of the shirt. Computer chip maker Intel signed an agreement with the Spanish club that does just that.
December 11, 2013 RECORD NUMBERS
World Cup Draw telecast averages 489,000 viewers
BRISTOL, Conn---Last Friday’s Final Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup on ESPN2 averaged 489,000 viewers and 353,000 households, based on a 0.3 U.S. household rating, making it the most-watched FIFA World Cup Draw on the ESPN networks, according to Nielsen Media.
August 20, 2013 BIG NUMBERS
EPL games seen by 3.4 million viewers
STAMFORD, Conn. –NBC Sports Group posted record-setting numbers this past weekend as it kicked off exclusive coverage of the Premier League on NBC, NBCSN, mun2, the Premier League Extra Time bonus TV package and the NBC Sports Live Extra live streaming product.
June 28, 2013 SOCCER BUSINESS
Chelsea signs rich shirt deal
Chelsea has moved to the top of the English Premier League. Not by winning the championship, but with its new shirt deal with adidas, a ten-year contract worth about $460 million (£300 million).
May 21, 2013 SOCCER BUSINESS
ManCity, Yankees, MLS create synergies
In bringing together the New York Yankees and Manchester City as the owners of its 20th franchise and the second in the New York market, Major League Soccer has added two of the most powerful brands in global sports to its own already growing brand.
March 27, 2013 MOST WATCHED
USA-Mexico sets qualifying record for ESPN
BRISTOL, Conn.---Tuesday night’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Mexico and the United States – a hard-fought 0-0 tie at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City – was seen by an average 2.385 million viewers and 1.644 million households based on a 1.4 U.S. household rating (1.7 coverage rating).
March 4, 2013 NEW NAME
Home Depot Center to become StubHub Center
The Home Depot Center is getting a new name. Ticket marketer StubHub will become the new naming rights partner of the 125-acre multi-sport facility starting in June. The home of the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA will be the ‘StubHub Center’, making it the first ever naming rights partnership for a ticketing company.
February 11, 2013 EXPANDED AGREEMENT
FOX Soccer will carry more CONCACAF events
MIAMI - The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football announced an expanded agreement with FOX Soccer that will add five more CONCACAF competitions to the broadcaster’s lineup in the United States.
February 4, 2013 SOCCER BUSINESS
Recycling the shirt in Houston
The Houston Dynamo are going through a bit of a recycling process with their jersey. The team and Greenstar Recycling have reached an agreement to end the sponsorship in the wake of the company's sale to Waste Management, Inc.
January 24, 2013 TURNING THINGS OVER
Checketts sells stake in RSL
Real Salt Lake founder Dave Checketts has sold his controlling interest in the Major League Soccer team, Rio Tinto Stadium and ESPN/700 Sports Talk Radio to Utah real estate developer Dell Loy Hansen.
January 23, 2013 RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
Manning pulls it together for RSL
If there really is a recipe for running a successful Major League Soccer team, it may have three key ingredients---a new stadium, a winning product on the field, and a strong management team. Just ask Real Salt Lake President Bill Manning.
January 16, 2013 SOCCER BUSINESS
Livestrong no more, naming deal terminated
Livestrong Sporting Park is no more. The unique naming rights agreement between Sporting Kansas City and disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong’s cancer foundation has been terminated. The stadium, at least for now, will be called Sporting Park.
January 14, 2013 SOCCER BUSINESS
Florida courting MLS teams for Spring Training
The arrival of baseball teams in the Sunshine State – and, more importantly, the annual arrival of their fans -- is an economic development engine for Florida, with more than 1.5 million fans attending spring training games annually. Now the state wants to do the same thing, albeit on a smaller scale, with Major League Soccer spring training.
January 11, 2013 NEW APPAREL DEAL
EPYSA partners with Nike
PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. –– Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer and Nike, Inc. have entered into a new, four-year partnership that will provide exclusive apparel and equipment coverage for all of the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer programs.
October 28, 2012 SOCCER BUSINESS
NBC Sports to air Premier League
NBC Sports Group, has acquired the exclusive U.S. media rights to the Premier League through a multi-year agreement that begins with the 2013-14 season. NBC won the rights from incumbents Fox Soccer Channel and ESPN. The deal is reportedly for three years and $250 million.
August 23, 2012 SOCCER BUSINESS
Sounders shopping for shirtfront sponsor
The Seattle Sounders are looking for a new shirt front sponsor. The team, which has one year remaining in its deal with current sponsor Xbox, has hired CAA Sports to explore opportunities in the marketplace for their jersey partnership, beginning with the 2014 MLS season.
July 9, 2012 U.S. TV DEAL
Liverpool tour games to air on ESPN
BOSTON–Liverpool FC and its American owners have taken another step in building the team's brand in North America, signing a deal with ESPN to televise two matches of the club's 2012 North American Tour.
July 3, 2012 SOCCER BUSINESS
Manchester United files for IPO
Manchester United plans to go back on the public market. The team's parent company filed a registration with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed public offering. The team hopes to raise $100 million from the offering.
April 25, 2012 SOCCER BUSINESS
Liverpool, Roma get boost with U.S. owners
Liverpool FC and AS Roma have both seen a boost in interest in the United States since the clubs were purchased by American owners. Ironically, both ownership groups are Boston-based, and the two clubs will face each other at Fenway Park on July 25, the same night as the MLS All Star Game in Philadelphia.
August 1, 2011 SOCCER BUSINESS
From stripes to swoosh
In the modern world of international soccer, many factors go into the hiring of a coach, including perhaps his past sponsorship affiliations or at least the perceptions of them.
April 27, 2011 SOCCER BUSINESS
MLS adds, renews sponsors
Major League Soccer has been busy completing sponsor deals in the last few weeks, getting renewals with Pepsi and Anheuser Busch, tying up an expanded deal with Four Points by Sheraton and signing Brown-Forman to a multi-year deal in the tequila category across a number of properties represented by Soccer United Marketing.
March 17, 2011 SOCCER BUSINESS
Sporting get charitable with stadium naming
Naming rights deals across the sports industry have been hard to come by in the last few years, as the economy has struggled to get back on its feet. Two National Football League venues built in the last two years, Dallas Cowboys Stadium and the New Meadowlands Stadium, still do not have a naming rights partner. Sporting Kansas City, who will open their $165 million stadium in June, came up with a novel solution, essentially donating the naming rights, as well as some cash payments, to Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation.
February 21, 2011 SOCCER BUSINESS
Sahlen's making a splash in soccer
A Buffalo-based meatpacking company is making a big splash in soccer, especially in Western New York. Sahlen’s Packing Company recently purchased the naming rights to the Rochester Rhinos home stadium, in a ten-year deal (five years with a five-year option) that is believed worth about $300,000 per year.
December 13, 2010 SOCCER BUSINESS
Timbers, Barca in jersey deals
The Portland Timbers kicked off a four year sponsorship with Alaska Airlines by unveiling the expansion team’s uniforms and an airliner decorated in the team’s colors.
November 12, 2010 SOCCER BUSINESS
Beat bringing in the events
The Atlanta Beat, which built the first soccer facility for a Women’s Professional Soccer team, are looking to do what many MLS teams have done with their soccer stadiums, create multiple uses for the facility.
September 1, 2010 SOCCER BUSINESS
Bid committee lands two sponsors
The USA Bid Committee has lined up two sponsors in support of the organization’s efforts to bring either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup to the United States. AT&T has been named an official sponsor of the organization, while American Airlines is an official partner.
Major League Soccer has made building new stadiums an important part of the league’s business philosophy and strategy. For the nascent Women’s Professional Soccer, whether the model will work still remains to be seen.
The New York Red Bulls opened theirs last Saturday, Philadelphia Union will open theirs in June. The Kansas City Wizards have starting digging and the Houston Dynamo have reached a deal. A wave of new stadiums that Major League Soccer says is essential to the future of the game in the United States is continuing, yet one thing has eluded many of the teams that have built new stadiums, even ones built with public money---profits.
December 4, 2009 ATTENTION WALMART SHOPPERS
Retailer to open World Cup stores
BENTONVILLE, Ark.,--Retail giant Walmart will operate 2010 FIFA World Cup Official Event Stores in nearly all of its retail markets around the world. Walmart will feature FIFA event branded shops inside select stores that will offer exclusive FIFA World Cup official licensed products and host special events leading up to the games.