Back in November, we noted that Sheraton’s Four Points was the official hotel sponsor of the MLS Cup Playoffs. The Four Points name was apparent on sign boards throughout the post season in 2010. Other than that brief moment however, MLS has been without a league wide hotel sponsor for quite some time. According to the Sports Business Journal, the league has now filled that gap by signing a multi year deal with Four Points. Although terms of the deal have not been announced, this represents the Four Points brand’s first foray into sports sponsorship other than their brief MLS dalliance last year. For MLS, this represents another important sponsorship relationship. Just weeks after filling their insurance sponsorship hole with Allstate, MLS now fills another important category with Four Points. The relatively new brand is Starwood’s 3rd largest brand and is found in over 24 different countries with around 149 properties worldwide.
As of mid-February, the league had no hotel sponsor, no insurance sponsor, no fast food sponsor, no shipping sponsor and no bank sponsor. The league has now effectively filled two of those glaring holes. These arrangements provide significant financial and commerical resources to sports leagues and provide a certain amount of credibility in the sports business world. While there has not been a fast food sponsor since Burger King, the league is moving quickly to add revenue and ascend to a more prominent place in the sports pecking order. The new relationship with Four Points also suggests that the chain found value in its playoff relationship and has elected to continue with MLS.