MLS announces partnership with Audi, including presenting sponsorship of MLS Cup Playoffs

Audi and Major League Soccer on Friday announced a multi-year partnership agreement that, commencing with the 2015 MLS season, makes Audi the Official Automotive Partner of MLS. As part of the partnership, Audi becomes the presenting sponsor of the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Under the agreement, Audi will use MLS intellectual property to establish an authentic connection with soccer fans across North America. The agreement also includes a number of media extensions including field level signage (fieldboards) during nationally televised MLS broadcasts, starting with Friday night's season opener between the LA Galaxy and Chicago Fire.

Throughout the season, Audi will also air MLS-themed television commercials during nationally televised games on ESPN, FOX and the Univision Networks, including the AT&T MLS All-Star Game, MLS Cup Playoffs and MLS Cup. The first such spot is called “The Game” and highlights the thrill and emotion of the game. The commercial will be updated throughout the season with key moments that transpire on the field and with real fan footage captured in stadiums around the league. 

“We are excited to welcome Audi to the MLS family,” said Gary Stevenson, President and Managing Director, MLS Business Ventures, in a statement. “Audi is an elite brand that is committed to helping the sport of soccer grow in North America and we look forward to partnering with them for many years to come.”

The partnership with MLS is the latest soccer-related move for Audi, which aims to bring fans more exciting activations to enhance their soccer experience. Last summer in Brooklyn, New York, Audi created a giant scoreboard illuminated by the headlights of 28 Audi A8 sedans to display the 2014 FIFA World Cup scores. In July, the brand hosted its first-ever U.S. Audi Football Summit.

The partnership with MLS includes activation rights at the MLS All-Star Game and MLS Cup.

“Audi’s partnership with MLS parallels the aggressive, challenger spirit of the two brands,” said Loren Angelo, Director of Marketing, Audi of America, in a statement. “Audi remains committed to soccer and raising the profile of the game in the United States. Last year the league’s attendance hit an all-time high. As a major supporter of the sport globally, we’re looking forward to cultivating the enthusiasm of soccer stateside and driving participation of the sport in a new way.”