More On Jersey Advertising in the MLS

Just how much does it cost to have your brand name placed on an MLS soccer jersey? The NY Times has an article about the naming rights, what MLS soccer teams earn, and some of the brands that are lost in translation…yes, soccer jersey advertising has come to the MLS in a big way. And I’m sure these prices will go up substantially has the MLS grows and expands. What brand is smart and will buy a long term MLS jersey deal?

‘In Europe, advertising on team jerseys, in soccer and other sports, has been around for more than 30 years. Last year, Manchester United of England signed a four-year shirt sponsorship deal for $106 million with the American International Group, an insurance company. Chelsea, another English club, is receiving $18.7 million a season from a five-year deal with Samsung.

In Spain, Barcelona, which had not had a sponsor’s name on its shirt, decided to take an altruistic tack. The club is paying Unicef, the United Nations Children’s Fund, $2 million a year for the next five years to use its logo in all competitions.’

‘Salcedo said that A.E.G. and Chivas expected its sponsor, whether it is Bimbo or another company, to pay more than $1 million a year. (Consider what the Los Angeles Galaxy can expect a sponsor to offer if the club signs the English star David Beckham.)’ Read more…

In the MLS the Galaxy have a new jersey sponsor and more and more teams are adding logos to their once brand free jerseys:

AEG, operators of the Galaxy, announced the signing of a five-year, multimillion sponsorship contract with Herbalife Ltd. on Friday, giving the direct-sales company the right to showcase its brand name across the front of the team jersey.

  • LA Galaxy – Herbalife Ltd. ($3.5 million and $5 million a year)
  • Seattle Sounders FC – Microsoft (4 million per year)
  • DC United – Volkswagen ($14 million over five years)
  • Chicago Fire – Best Buy
  • Toronto – BMO Financial Group
  • Real Salt Lake – XanGo
  • New York Red Bulls – Red Bull
  • Houston Dynamo – Amigo Energy
  • Columbus Crew – ICI Paints (Glidden)
  • Club Deportivo Chivas USA – Comex Group (Mexico’s leading paint company)
  • San Jose Earthquakes – Amway Global ($2-$3 million per year)

The agreement first was reported Thursday night in the online edition of the Wall Street Journal, which said the deal would pay the Galaxy between $3.5 million and $5 million a year through 2011.

The big question is did Herbalife know that the LA Galaxy would sign David Beckham?  Did they know he’d be on the cover of SI with their brand front and center on the jersey?  I think they’ve already recouped what they’ve paid for the name across the jersey, or will very soon.

The Canadian (Toronto) expansion side’s jersey sponsor will be BMO Financial Group, which also owns the naming rights to that club’s brand new soccer-specific stadium, while the Galaxy’s shirts will be emblazoned with the logo for Herbalife Ltd., a global nutrition direct-selling company.

Major League Soccer became the first major American professional sports league to allow front jerseys sponsors this season. XanGo, an energy drink company, was the first jersey sponsor to sign on, buying the rights to Real Salt Lake’s tops. The New York Red Bulls also have the logo of their parent company, another energy drink, displayed prominently on the front of their jerseys.

By comparison, over in the EPL, Chelsea has quite a deal with Samsung:

One deal, between English Premier League club Chelsea and South Korean electronics firm Samsung, is valued at more than $20 million annually.

Learn more about Soccer Finance: