Bermuda and other MLS sponsorship surveyed
With the World Cup heading toward its denouement, an American sports and entertainment intelligence platform has highlighted the extent of marketing support for Major League Soccer, including participation by the Bermuda Tourism Authority.
SponsorUnited, which says it tracks 1.1 million sponsorships and endorsements across 250,000 brands and properties, said in its MLS 2022 Marketing Partnerships Report that there were 1,750 partnership deals across the league, clubs and athletes during the 2022 season.
Among them is the BTA’s partnership with New York City Football Club.
Announced in March, it saw the BTA become the new official tourism partner of the club, which is one of 28 teams in MLS.
The report uncovered that $461 million in club sponsorship revenue was generated across 1,300 unique brands.
The beverage-alcohol category and media brands topped the charts with the most active brands.
Sporting KC, Philadelphia Union and Austin FC attract nearly 100 brand deals each, eclipsing the league average of 62.
Austin FC, part-owned by actor Matthew McConaughey, quickly surpassed all other MLS clubs in terms of sponsorship category diversity in just its second season.
US World Cup player DeAndre Yedlin, of Inter Miami CF, leads with the most new brand collaborations this year, inking five brand endorsements.
LAFC player Giorgio Chiellini, formerly of Italian club Juventus, took the lead in endorsements with 18, and the number of branded social posts with 28.
Crypto currency and fintech propelled finance to the top of 2022's list of most searched categories.
Crypto sponsorship deals within MLS quintupled to five from just one last year.
Crypto currency was the most searched financial category within the SponsorUnited platform as more than 250 crypto currency brands worldwide were searched, with Coinbase, Crypto.com, and eToro leading the way.
For the 2022 season, MLS gained six new league partners: Avant, IHG, Socios.com, Sorare, DoorDash and Caterpillar.
The five most active brands among the league and individual athletes include Heineken (785 social posts), Audi (658 posts), BodyArmour (618 posts), Bank of Montreal (403 posts) and Delta (390 posts).
Bob Lynch, founder and CEO of SponsorUnited, said: "MLS continues to impress with its increasing popularity, game attendance and sponsorships, propelling the league to be the fastest growing in the world.
"It's clear to see how MLS franchise median value grew 5x more than other US pro leagues through new investments made from companies like DoorDash, as well as continued support from brands like adidas, who has been a league partner for the past 26 years.
“It's an exciting time for MLS and I'm looking forward to seeing the continued momentum."