Major League Soccer Now Allows Sports Betting Sponsorships

  • Major League Soccer (MLS) makes major changes to commercial sponsorship guidelines
  • All 24 clubs can now sign sponsorship deals with sports betting and liquor companies
  • The change puts the MLS at the forefront of highly visible sponsorships with such companies
Major League Soccer now allows sports betting and liquor company sponsorships.

Guideline changes are effective immediately

Major League Soccer (MLS) has become the latest professional sports league to embrace sports betting. The league has decided to make major changes to their commercial sponsorship guidelines. The 24 clubs of the league will now be able to accept sports betting and liquor company sponsorships, including deals involving team jerseys and stadium naming rights.

The changes to MLS guidelines take effect immediately.

Even though the guidelines are looser, there are still restrictions. The league’s players are not allowed to appear in marketing campaigns for sports betting companies and players who are younger than 21 cannot appear in advertising related to alcohol.

The league also wants to ensure that sports betting and liquor sponsors do not market to children or young people. The advertising needs to be geared towards an age-appropriate audience. Replica jerseys in youth sizes cannot have such sponsors on them at all.

MLS Senior Vice President of Business Development Carter Ladd said: “We want to be viewed as a progressive league and provide our clubs with an appropriate level of flexibility. We don’t want to be restrictive; we want to enable them in a positive way, and that’s why we’re taking this action… We strongly believe this is going to help drive new revenues.”

League’s new rules detailed

Each Major League Soccer club is subject to the sports betting laws in its home state. The new rules of the leagues will allow sports betting sponsors to place advertising in the soccer stadiums and sponsors will also be allowed to sign agreements for digital advertising.

Call-to-action advertising is allowed and MLS sponsors will be able to create ads catering to fans of legal age to wager on the league’s games. Sports betting sponsors can also buy spots for ads during soccer game broadcasts.

Moreover, clubs can create programming centered on sports betting. Shows can be created that include league footage and discuss betting odds on games. Sports betting facilities can also be constructed in MLS stadiums. These facilities will have to be created in partnership with a licensed gambling operator in states where such gambling is permitted.


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