Say what you will about MLS’s laissez-faire attitude towards CONCACAF refs because the MLS front office just hit some paydirt.
Announced this morning, a new deal with adidas, at $200M per for 8 years. That’s $25M per year and it represents–adjusted for inflation–a shade more than a 33% percent premium on the old deal.
Sponsorship dollars are hardly falling from the vine these days and to re-up with a large premium says a lot of about adidas’s continued commitment to the domestic game.
It is not without a good foundation for adidas mind you. The company has sponsored MLS since its inception and recently said that its World Cup sales beat expectations.
Earmarking some of the funds for development academies and youth is smart from both sides–for adidas to increase their grassroots penetration of the brand and for MLS to have some financial backing to get the teams started.
Our guess also is that adidas is looking to cement a deal with MLS now to gain some of the uptick in interest that will come with the increased soccer coverage from major networks and possibly hosting a World Cup.
When fans talk about growing soccer in the United States, this is the kind of deal that should make you smile.
One more interesting note for all of those fans who wish their team gets a new place to play, see Don Garber’s quote on the deal:
Our extension with adidas is a major statement by an internationally respected brand that MLS is increasing in value and that our commitments to stadium construction, strategic expansion, player development and improvement in the overall quality of play are playing dividend.
You can read the entire press release here.
• Perhaps some negativity on this deal around kit design from what we’ve read this morning. Two notes: Unscientifically, I find adidas kits to be less expensive on average than Nike kits, and secondly, put the money to use somewhere else instead of refurbishing kits.
The extra dollars here should be used to grow MLS and grow the fanbase, not necessarily to focus on the diehard fans with new kits. That may be a bitter pill, but it’s what is best for the domestic game to grow.