Major League Soccer announced on Thursday a multi-year agreement with Target, making the retail giant an official MLS partner beginning in 2017.
In addition to the league-wide deal, Target will also team up with its hometown MLS club, Minnesota United FC, and the company's iconic bullseye logo will be featured across MNUFC's jerseys, which will be released in late February ahead of the expansion side's inaugural season in the league.
Target’s MLS partnership will include brand integration across platforms, including broadcast, digital, video, content, in-stadium and on-site activation at marquee MLS events.
A long-time fixture on the motor racing and action sports scene, this marks Target’s largest-ever push into team sports. The company also has naming rights partnerships with Minnesota sports facilities Target Field and Target Center – home of baseball’s Minnesota Twins and basketball’s Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx teams, respectively.
“There are so many things that drew us to soccer – it’s multicultural, watched and played by families and is growing immensely in popularity,” Rick Gomez, Target senior vice president of Marketing said in a statement.
In addition to the kit sponsorship, Target’s relationship with Minnesota United will include on-field branding and in-stadium activation rights. The Target brand will be on display this year at TCF Bank Stadium, where the club will play 2017 home matches while continuing construction of its soccer-specific stadium in Saint Paul.
MNUFC will be featured in the opening match of the 2017 MLS regular season on Friday, March 3 when the Loons visit the Portland Timbers (9:30 pm ET on FS1 and FOX Deportes).
“Target believes they have a role to play in fueling the potential of soccer and soccer players at all levels in Minnesota and the entire club is thrilled to have them as a partner," Minnesota United FC president Nick Rogers said in a club statement.