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A summary of the most exciting news in soccer marketing. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

  • U.S. SoccerThe U.S. Soccer Federation hired Irish wearables company STATSports to provide monitoring equipment for its four million registered soccer players in the United States. The deal will work on the world’s largest player data monitoring program and is valued at over $1.5 billion, according to a statement.
    “We will help drive and improve player environments through the exchange of data between clubs and U.S. Soccer as players enter and leave National team camps. Over time, this information will be used to research, support, and educate the entire landscape,” U.S. Soccer Director of Sports Development Ryan Mooney stated.
  • The New York Red Bulls got eco-friendly and partnered with Covanta, a world leader in sustainable waste and energy solutions for communities and businesses. The agreement designates the company as the Official Energy Partner of the team.
  • Kinecta Federal Credit Union announced a comprehensive marketing multi-year partnership agreement with the LA Galaxy and the team’s home stadium, StubHub Center, in Carson, California. The deal establishes Kinecta as the exclusive financial services partner of the LA Galaxy and StubHub Center. The credit union also will serve as a Founding Partner of StubHub Center and the first-ever naming rights partner of the LA Galaxy’s Torrance, Calif.-based indoor soccer and recreational facility.

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  • Club AméricaToyota is partnering with Mexican Liga MX Club América. The sponsorship includes participation in Tour Águila, the club’s annual U.S. tour. Toyota will bring fans closer to their team through activities featuring players, social content and digital programs and much more.
    “Toyota wants to amplify the fans’ experience by igniting their passion and spirit for the game as they cheer on their favorite teams,” stated Tyler McBride, engagement and event manager at Toyota Motor North America.
  • The Canadian Premier League launched Canadian Soccer Business, a new sports enterprise representing commercial assets and inventory for marquee soccer properties in Canada. The company will start representing all corporate partnerships and media rights related to Canada Soccer’s core assets including its national teams, along with all rights associated with the CPL. Scott Mitchell has been confirmed as the CEO.
  • Kona Brewing CompanyKona Brewing Company has become the official craft beer of the LA Galaxy, by signing a multi-year partnership. As part of it, Kona Brewing Co. will bring the island spirit to Southern California with a Lanai-style bar at StubHub Center.
  • The Chicago Fire Soccer Club named Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing exec Sean Dennison as Senior Vice President, Communications & Media. Dennison will manage all Club communications functions, including soccer communications, public relations, broadcast, social media and digital media.

Check out the stars of Portada’s Sports Marketing Board, who will meet at Portada Miami on April 18-19 to discuss various topics related to the future of marketing and innovation in sports. Register now!

What: New England Revolution and New York Red Bulls released their kits for the 2018 MLS season.
Why it matters: Several further MLS uniform reveals will soon follow, kicking off a flurry of jersey sales and a marketing boost for shirt sponsors.

‘Tis the Season for Uniform Releases

Two of Major League Soccer’s major market teams, the New England Revolution and New York Red Bulls, each officially revealed a new shirt to be worn during matches for the 2018 season. These releases have received a great deal of critical acclaim all over the internet, with praise coming from Reddit, Twitter, and other online platforms.

Adidas has created for itself a huge opportunity to gain popularity throughout the United States… for it has cornered the market on growing number of eyes watching MLS and buying affiliated apparel.

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Adidas’s Alternate Approach

Because of Adidas’s $700 million deal through 2024 to be the maker of all MLS uniforms, individual MLS teams cannot negotiate on their own to generate revenue from companies seeking to design and produce their shirts as is done by team throughout the rest of the world. With this contract, Adidas has created for itself a huge opportunity to gain popularity throughout the United States if it can impress with the quality of its MLS uniforms, for it has cornered the market on growing number of eyes watching MLS and buying affiliated apparel.

Though Adidas also has major contracts with some of the world’s most popular clubs, such as Manchester United and Real Madrid, its contract with MLS marks an innovative approach to kit manufacturing more reminiscent of league-wide deals in other US professional sports. Given that Adidas was successful enough to extend its initial deal, other apparel companies may attempt to execute the same approach in leagues in other countries whose leagues are growing in popularity but lack super rich teams that would demand to negotiate apparel contracts on their own.

Now that these impressive first editions are out, expect a flurry of further jersey releases by other MLS clubs and a new influx of revenue for the various parties involved.

New Looks for Northeast Clubs

Though all MLS clubs’ uniforms are made by Adidas, their designs are unique to each team, as are their commercial sponsor. New England Revolution have continued with their vertical stripe theme, though they have sleekly moved the stripes off-center and stuck with alternate shades of blue instead reinforcing their white and red alternate colors. UnitedHealthcare continues to have the rights to the Revolution’s primary jersey sponsorship, which the insurance provider hopes to use as a marketing tool and a way to spread awareness about promoting well-being in New England’s local communities.

New York Red Bulls, on the other hand, have come out with a bold red top that takes inspiration from fan input. The Red Bull logo featured on the company’s energy drinks and other products will continue to be emblazoned on the club’s uniforms for the upcoming season. Now that these impressive first editions are out, expect a flurry of further jersey releases by other MLS clubs and a new influx of revenue for the various parties involved.

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