MLS looks to broaden sponsorship opportunities for teams

Credit: Adam Cairns/Zuma Press/PA Images

Major League Soccer (MLS) could potentially allow its teams to sell sponsorship opportunities on players’ shorts in an attempt to decrease the financial impact caused by the global health pandemic.

According to The Washington Post , sides will be able to negotiate with brands around the new kit sponsorship during the ‘MLS is Back Tournament’, the league’s new competition based at Walt Disney World Resort

The initiative has reportedly been made available so the teams can benefit from garnering extra revenue, which will be boosted with the competition having all of its games broadcasted.

Last week MLS Commissioner Don Garber told reporters that the competition is set to lose out on an estimated $1 billion in revenue due to the coronavirus, with a significant portion of the figure due to game-day revenue.

He said: “Major League Soccer will take a billion dollar revenue hit due to the pandemic and that’s a function of lost revenue that regardless of what we’re able to do, is going to be nearly impossible to generate at the levels that we need.

“When we lose the ability to sell tickets and we lose the ability to have any hospitality and other game day stadium revenues … today that is on hold. And we really don’t know what it’s going to look like, going forward.”

Additionally, Garber highlighted in the conference that initiatives will be put in place in order to help teams financially throughout the remainder of the campaign.

The Washington Post also reported that the league is also looking into the possibility of allowing its sides to have sponsors on the left sleeve of its kits. So far only right sleeve sponsorships have been made viable with D.C United being one of the first following its partnership with Caesars Entertainment. In total only four sides have a right sleeve sponsor. 

If MLS does in fact allow its side to add extra sponsors during the one-off competition then the organisation follows a number of other sporting organisations expanding its regulations to provide clubs with more potential revenue. 

Last week, the International Cricket Council (ICC) adjusted its sponsorship guidelines to allow chest sponsorships in Test matches for the first time for a 12 month period to provide sides with extra income. 

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