Soccer got the green light for legalized sports betting earlier this year. As the current season just ended, the teams are preparing for the start of their spring 2020 season by finalizing sponsors. New guidelines were rolled out in June, the rules will allow the 24 teams in the MLS to secure sponsorships from liquor companies, and sports betting providers. The sponsors will have certain rights at stadiums and on the jerseys the players wear. A MLS insider, said it’s a win win for everyone involved.’ The new rules took effect over the summer,and allowed the MLS to get a jump start on snagging coveted sponsorships.

Jersey Sponsorship Has Always Been More Prevalent With Soccer Teams

In years past, jersey sponsorship has always been more prevalent in the MLS than the leagues like the MLB, NFL, NBA or NHL. However now it’s speculated that those leagues will follow suit with the MLS and seek jersey sponsorships too. Although other leagues in the past have not really sought jersey sponsorship, some NBA teams wore sponsor patches in 2017. The new rules have been a bit more progressive say experts. Now the teams can solicit sponsorships from liquor companies. In the past, it was frowned upon, and basically not allowed. The normal sponsors were beer and wine companies, but now spirits and liquor companies can sponsor MLS teams. In addition to liquor company logos appearing on MLS team jerseys, they can sponsor stadium naming rights and or have logos throughout stadiums.

The League Wants To Been Seen As An Open Progressive League That Represents All Fans

According to the Senior Vice President of the MLS, Carter Ladd, said ‘being seen as a progressive league has always been a goal.’ Ladd added, “We want to be viewed as a progressive league, and provide our clubs with a level of flexibility. We don’t want to be restrictive, we want to enable them in a positive way, that’s why we’re taking this action.
We strongly believe this is going to help drive new revenues.” The new sponsorship rules do come with some restrictions. Most of those restrictions center around under age fans.  Ladd said all proactive measures have been taken to only market sponsor products to ‘an  age-appropriate fan base.’

The League Will Not Allow Jerseys For Children To Have Logos From Liquor Companies

Replica jerseys in child sizes, will not have any patches or logos from liquor companies. Any players who are under the age of 21, will not be allowed to appear in any advertising for liquor company sponsors. Ladd said, ‘those restrictions are just common sense really, several companies like liquor and tobacco are not allowed to market their products to people who are under the legal age limit.’ Ladd also remains extremely optimistic about where they positioned in North America.The MLS will benefit from the changing attitudes towards sports betting Ladd added.