Dec 08, 2009 at 04:37 PM
written by

New MLS Team Tests Market For Jersey Sponsorship

While other professional sports leagues debate the merits of jersey sponsorship, MLS, like its across the pond counterparts, is fully committed to the practice. One team still in the market for a jersey sponsor is the newly launched Philadelphia Union, the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.

The Union won't begin play until April 2010, but the search is on for a shirt sponsor. The MLS minimum for a shirt sponsorship is $500,000 though most major market teams see higher sums the Inquirer piece notes:

A small-market team such as Real Salt Lake, which won the MLS Cup last month, is on the low end, with a package worth about $1 million. At the high end, Herbalife paid about $5 million to sponsor the David Beckham-led L.A. Galaxy, which lost the Cup game on penalty kicks.

The Union's new stadium is "powered by Panasonic," and it has been widely rumored that Panasonic will snap up the jersey sponsorship as well although no deal has yet been announced. Sponsorship experts see the Union's sponsorship valuation falling somewhere in the middle of MLS deals:

Liz Panich, of the Marketing Arm, said the key to a successful sponsorship was for team and company to fit, for each to be proud, or at least accepting, of the other. No team wants to be sponsored by Acme Toxic Waste, at any price, and no company wants to be tied to a poorly run, perennially losing club.

Panich expects the Union to land a midlevel deal in the range of $2 million to $3 million, similar to those of the Chicago Fire, sponsored by Best Buy, and DC United, sponsored by Volkswagen.


photo credit: