MLS opens up commercial sponsorships to sports betting, spirits categories

As part of recent updates to its commercial policies, Major League Soccer becomes the first major pro sports league in US and Canadian team sports to permit companies in the sports betting and spirits categories to include their brands on MLS jerseys.

Those jersey sponsorship opportunities will include jersey fronts and new sleeve-patch space, with the latter being available for MLS clubs to sell beginning in 2020.

Front Office Sports and Fortune were among the first outlets to report the news, and provided further details about the changes in the league's commercial guidelines, including the opening up of stadium naming rights opportunities for sports betting and spirits companies.

The new guidelines also ensure that youth-sized replica jerseys will not feature these category sponsors and no MLS players under the age of 21 can be included in ads for spirits.

Sports betting and spirits companies can now partner with clubs in other ways, including stadium naming-rights, stadium signage, field-board advertising, ad spots and custom programming. Sports betting companies can also set up in private lounges at MLS stadiums or on property adjacent to the stadium.

Back in March, Major League Soccer signed a multi-year agreement with its first gaming partner, MGM Resorts International.


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