Big news on the sponsorship front from longtime partner Panasonic. The electronics company announced that they have extended their deal with Major League Soccer through 2014 to serve as the league’s “Official Consumer Electronics Partner”. In addition, the company announced that they have reached an agreement with US soccer to serve as a similar sponsor/partner for the Men’s and Women’s National Teams. For the national sides, the deal concludes with the 2014 World Cup while the MLS deal goes until the end of the 2014 season.
Panasonic has had a relationship with MLS for almost ten years and has been a constant presence in various forms of television advertising, sign boards and league promotions. It is encouraging that a corporate partner sees enough value in its MLS relationship to continue to renew the agreement. It is also important that the company is expanding its soccer footprint by spending on the national teams and increasing its commitment to the sport. According to the press release, “the sponsorship will give Panasonic category exclusivity across the U.S. Soccer and MLS properties for a wide range of consumer, professional, and B2B products including HDTV (VIERA), Blu-ray Disc, cameras and camcorders (LUMIX), LED signage, TV broadcast equipment, and point of sale systems (excluding payment services systems), solar and eco systems (MLS only), mobile & tablet computers, and select personal care products.”
Panasonic last re-upped its relationship with MLS in 2009. At the time, the Sports Business Journal estimated the deal at $3 million per year.
Also from the press statement; ”Panasonic is proud to extend our sponsorship of Major League Soccer and to expand our horizons to support the U.S. Soccer Federation and the Men’s and Women’s National Teams,” said Joe Taylor, Panasonic Corporation of North America’s Chairman & CEO. “Soccer is a brand on the rise in the U.S. with a broad, global appeal and a target audience aligned with our own brand goals.