In a year dominated by CBA negotiations, MLS team and league sponsorships have gone largely unnoticed. Continental Tire was added as a sponsor a couple of months back and has already featured prominently on broadcasts on both FSC and ESPN. PPL was announced as the stadium sponsor for the new arena in Philly and the Union have announced additional in-house official vendors such as Coke. However, there has been little movement elsewhere, with no new jersey sponsors announced and no additional presenting sponsors.
The Sports Business Journal is reporting that SUM is pursuing several “big” deals for MLS for the upcoming season, but to date, the most recent new sponsor to join the fold was Travelodge as sponsor of CONCACAF Champions League. In the interim, SUM has opened three new relationships for its relationships with Mexican Soccer.
Do these lack of sponsorships matter? Are the Revs, Union, etc… pursuing jersey sponsors? Are teams looking to renew existing deals? What factors do teams consider? Recall our interview with Tim Martin of Gallagher Sports:
I’m fairly certain that any club without a jersey sponsor is actively pursuing one. Its far too great of a potential financial resource not to be. Each club, however, will assign a different value to the front of their shirt, and by value I don’t just mean a certain sum of money, but also cognizance of the brand they are associating themselves with. This is very relatable to your first question in that it all comes down to the goals and objectives of the club. It’s possible that these remaining clubs have had offers from multi level marketers, or casinos, or tobacco companies, and simply choose not to go into business with them due to an organizational belief system (I have no first-hand knowledge of any such offers, just using that as an example).