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.
February 12, 2015 SOCCER BUSINESS
Fox gets another World Cup
Fox has been awarded the United States television rights to a third World Cup, without yet having broadcast its first.
February 10, 2015 A NEW NAME FOR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Scotiabank to sponsor CONCACAF tournament
The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football and Scotiabank have joined to rename its continental club championship competition,
December 21, 2014 SOCCER BUSINESS
Banks banking on soccer sponsorships
Both CONCACAF and the Portland Timbers have announced new partnerships with banks, a growing category in soccer sponsorship.
October 14, 2014 SOCCER BUSINESS
New beer for MLS, new marketing group for NSCAA
Heineken has announced a new long term partnership making it the official beer of Major League Soccer. The import beer replaces Budweiser as the league's brew sponsor, a relationship that ran back to the founding of the league in 1996.
September 2, 2014 SOCCER BUSINESS
CONCACAF sells global media rights to IMG
CONCACAF has reached an agreement with global sports marketing company IMG to markets its international media rights for all of the Confederation’s 2015 events, as well as some events this year.
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 24, 2014 TELECAST SETS RECORD
USA-Portugal: Most-viewed soccer match ever in U.S.
The USA's thrilling 2-2- draw with Portugal on Sunday was the most viewed soccer game in American history. The ESPN telecast averaged 18.2 million viewers and peaked with 22.9 million viewers, while another 6.5 million watched on Univision.
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.
May 13, 2014 AMERICAN SOUND
Fox Sports 1 and 2 boss Nathanson believes in Johnson, Wynalda broadcast pairing
NEW YORK -- Anyone who has watched a Champions League match on Fox Sports 1 or 2 has become familiar with the preferred broadcasting team. Gus Johnson and Eric Wynalda have formed a unique partnership.
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.
April 2, 2014 SOCCER BUSINESS
Riverhounds file Chapter 11, MLS gets an airline deal
Warning to lower division teams with aspirations of building their own stadiums and someday making the jump to Major League Soccer. It's not that easy.
March 24, 2014 SOCCER BUSINESS
EPL gets a boost from Olympics, Nike adds US Youth Soccer
Bolstered by lead-ins from the Sochi Olympics as well as heavy promotion within Winter Games coverage, live game telecasts of the Premier League on the networks of NBCUniversal posted the league’s best-ever monthly audience in the U.S. in February.
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.
March 3, 2014 SOCCER BUSINESS
Disney wants to grow MLS Spring Training presence
Walt Disney World might be the happiest place on earth, but the executives running the ESPN Wide World of Sports Facility will be a whole lot happier if they can continue to grow their Major League Soccer spring training presence.
February 18, 2014 SOCCER BUSINESS
NPSL's Vaqueros put new twist on sponsor search; LigaMX outdrawing EPL on TV
Like most soccer teams, the National Premier Soccer League's Fort Worth Vaqueros are looking for a shirt front sponsor. But, the team, which is owned by sports marketing agency PMI, is putting a new twist on how they are going to find that sponsor.
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.
November 27, 2013 MLS CLUB VALUES
Forbes says Revolution worth $89 million
The Seattle Sounders are Major League Soccer's most valuable franchise at $175 million, according to Forbes Magazine.
August 21, 2013 CHANGING LANDSCAPE
Soccer on TV reaches new heights
If you are a soccer fan, it's hard to imagine that you would not know that NBC has made a major commitment to carrying English Premier League games across all of its platforms.
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.
August 9, 2013 SOCCER BUSINESS
EA SPORTS inks new deals with Barca, Liverpool
Electronic Arts Inc. has signed new deals with F.C. Barcelona and Liverpool. The new three-year agreements make EA SPORTS the Exclusive and Official Video Game Partner of both clubs.
July 30, 2013 PARTING WITH THE CREW
Hunt Sports Group sells original MLS franchise
After years of trying to find a local investor, the Hunt Sports Group has sold operating rights to the Columbus Crew to Precourt Sports Ventures, LLC, a San Francisco-based subsidiary of a venture management fund.
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).
June 13, 2013 BIG RATING
USA vs. Panama: ESPN’s second highest qualilfier audience
Tuesday night’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying contest between the United States and Panama delivered ESPN’ssecond most-watched and second highest-rated FIFA World Cup qualifying or international friendly match telecast.
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.
April 23, 2013 SOCCER BUSINESS
The Force is with MLS on Stars Wars promotion
There might be some strangely dressed people walking around MLS stadiums on May 4. Three teams -- the Philadelphia Union, Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles Galaxy -- are doing special Star Wars-themed promotions.
April 16, 2013 BIG COMMITMENT
NBC's EPL coverage to include all games
After acquiring the rights to the English Premier League starting next season for a reported $250 million, NBC Sports Group has made a major commitment to airing the games from England's top flight.
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 14, 2013 NO LONGER FOR SALE
AEG off the market, Tim Leiweke leaving
Anschutz Entertainment Group, parent company of the Los Angeles Galaxy, is no longer for sale, and Tim Leiweke is out as the company's Chief Executive.
March 6, 2013 SOCCER BUSINESS
ESPN inks new deal with Liga MX
ESPN has reached a multimedia rights extension with Azteca América to air Liga MX and Copa MX matches in the United States through 2015.
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 25, 2013 SOCCER BUSINESS
Brazilian boost for Orlando City, Sounders FC adds MatchPass benefit
Orlando City SC might have taken a big step toward getting a Major League Soccer expansion franchise last week, with the announcement that Brazilian businessman Flávio Augusto da Silva has made a major investment in the club.
February 13, 2013 SOCCER BUSINESS
MLS wants to sell you more jerseys
Major League Soccer wants to sell you more replica jerseys, and is rolling out an annual program aimed at doing just that.
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 30, 2013 BROADCAST DEAL
ESPN to carry Mexico games in English
BRISTOL, Conn---ESPN has worked out an arrangement with Univision to carry Mexican National Team games in English.
January 28, 2013 SOCCER BUSINESS
Small market RSL get short end of TV exposure
Major League Soccer may be a single entity, sharing most things equally, but that certainly does not apply to appearances on television.
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.
December 3, 2012 SOCCER BUSINESS
UMBRO sale completed, USL adds sponsor, Sacramento expansion team
Nike has completed its sale of iconic soccer brand UMBRO to Iconix Brand Group, Inc for $225 million in cash, considerably less than the $582 million the company paid in 2008.
November 27, 2012 SOCCER BUSINESS
Traffic gets Gold Cup, Champions League rights
NEW YORK---CONCACAF has awarded the commercial partnership rights to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the 2013/14 and 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League tournaments to Traffic Sports.
October 30, 2012 10-YEAR DEAL
CONCACAF, Univision Deportes strike multi-year agreement
NEW YORK – CONCACAF and Univision Deportes announced Monday the signing of a partnership agreement to broadcast its matches in the United States.
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.
October 11, 2012 SIRIUS SOCCER
New satellite radio channel will offer match coverage and soccer talk
NEW YORK –Sirius XM Radio has created a new channel dedicated entirely to the world’s game.
September 3, 2012 SOCCER BUSINESS
Nike takes over England kit deal
Starting next year, and for only the second time 60 years, the English National Team will be wearing a jersey other than Umbro.
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.
August 14, 2012 SOCCER BUSINESS
Chevy’s plunge into soccer making corporate waves
Chevrolet has jumped into English soccer in a big way, cutting several recent deals that may have caused some internal strife within the company.
July 10, 2012 ALL GAMES ON TV
MLS inks deals for World Football Challenge
NEW YORK – All the games during the 2012 World Football Challenge will be broadcast I the United States on a variety of networks, including ESPN, FOX Soccer, Univision Deportes Network and Univision Radio.
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.
June 22, 2012 SOCCER BUSINESS
Chevy looks to boost global brand with Man United
The old commercial jingle “baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet,” may need to be changed to “football, crumpets and Chevrolet,” now that the General Motors brand has signed a global partnership with Manchester United.
May 29, 2012 SOCCER BUSINESS
More American flavor for Liverpool
Liverpool's Boston-based owners have continued the Americanization of the business side of the team, with two recent appointments
May 24, 2012 SHAKING THINGS UP
Success of soccer TV brings in new competitor
The American soccer television landscape will have a new player later this year with the planned launch of beIN Sports USA, a new network that will be available in both English and Spanish and is backed by Qatar-based Al-Jazeera.
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.
March 22, 2012 SOCCER BUSINESS
Galaxy, Herbalife raise the bar for MLS sponsorships
Since Major League Soccer began allowing teams to sell shirtfront sponsorships six years ago, the category has turned into a big business for the teams, none bigger than for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
March 14, 2012 NEW PARTNERSHIPS
T4 Soccer will work with NSCAA, USL SuperY
T4 Soccer has formed strategic alliances with both the National Soccer Coaches Association and the United Soccer Leagues.
February 20, 2012 SOCCER BUSINESS
Castrol revs up soccer involvement
A motor oil might seem like a better sponsorship fit for NASCAR than Major League Soccer, but that's exactly why Castrol is involved in soccer in the first place.
October 21, 2011 ITS FOX, TELEMUNDO
FIFA awards U.S. World Cup broadcast rights
The United States broadcasting rights for FIFA events between 2015 and 2022 are being split among three media companies.
In a surprising move, FIFA awarded the English language TV and radio rights to Fox, which outbid bot incumbent ESPN and NBC Sports.
October 17, 2011 SOCCER BUSINESS
Puma drops WPS sponsorship; WC TV bids this week
Puma is ending its sponsorship of Women’s Professional Soccer, after three years. The company was one of the league’s founding partners, and opted not to renew its agreement.
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.
August 30, 2010 SOCCER BUSINESS
adidas locks up MLS, Mexico until 2018
Major League Soccer and adidas have extended their marketing partnership through 2018 for a reported $200 million. The company has been an MLS supplier since league’s founding in 1996.
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.
March 11, 2010 SOCCER BUSINESS
MLS expansion teams gearing up for 2011
The two newest teams in Major League Soccer, the Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers, are gearing up for their entry into the top flight by hiring experienced sports business executives.
January 26, 2010 SOCCER BUSINESS
Wizards finally get a home
After years of trying, and first playing at too big Arrowhead Stadium, then at an oddly configured minor league ballpark, the Kansas City Wizards are finally getting a home of their own.
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.
November 16, 2009 SOCCER BUSINESS
adidas unveils new kits
TV viewers watching last year’s Olympic Beach Volleyball events from Beijing may have wondered what the black tape on Kerri Walsh’s shoulder was. Viewers of next year’s World Cup may be wondering the same thing about the black patterns woven into the adidas uniforms.