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MLS Team Sponsorship Revenue Nears $600 Million
[December 07, 2023]

MLS Team Sponsorship Revenue Nears $600 Million

Teams yield 16% uptick in new brand deals in 2023

STAMFORD, Conn., Dec. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- SponsorUnited, the leading global sports and entertainment intelligence platform tracking over 1.6 million sponsorships and endorsements for 330,000 brands, today released its annual 2023 MLS Marketing Partnerships Report highlighting continued growth, top trends and new sponsorship formats for the league in 2023.

Key findings include:

MLS team sponsorship revenue nears $600 Million in latest marketing partnerships report from SponsorUnited.

League saw 16% increase in deals, over half of teams saw double-digit increases
With over a million viewers for its biggest matches and a 5% attendance increase to nearly 11 million attendees, MLS reaped the benefits of increased exposure that resulted in a 16% surge in sponsorship deals this season. The average number of sponsorships per team rose from 65 to 75, with over half of the teams registering double-digit increases in deals.

"The surge in MLS's team sponsorship revenue to over half a billion dollars is a remarkable testament to the league's rising prominence and their ability to leverage the global excitement of the World Cup, Messi's star power and the Apple partnership," said Bob Lynch, Founder and CEO of SponsorUnited. "Additionally, it's important to remember that the league's investment in aggressive club expansion (nine markets added over seven years) has been pivotal in driving fan engagement and revenue growth. These factors underscore MLS's growing influence in the global sports landscape making it an exhilarating time for soccer in North America."

Team sponsorship revenue nears a record $600 million
MLS team sponsorship revenue soared to a record $587 million, a 15% year-over-year increase. Leading the charge behind the growth were the finance, healthcare and insurance brands, which spent $92M, $79M and $47M, respectively. Some of the top ways brands engaged with the league included jersey/sleeve patches, digital ads on field-level walls and digital ads on videoboards.

Adidas, Continental, BodyArmor the most active league partners, financial the fastest-growing category
Adidas, Continental and BodyArmor were the most active brands by number of activations or signage by team this season with 30, 30 and 28 brand deals respectively. Adidas' prominence is attributed to its comprehensive role as the league-wide apparel and footwear sponsor, ensuring consistent visibility. Continental, as the official tire sponsor, leveraged extensive stadium and broadcast placements, enhancing its brand impact. BodyArmor's heightened exposure can be linked to the growing focus on health and athlete performance in sports, aligning its sports drink brand with the league's increasing viewership and attendance.

The financial category saw the most new brand deals this season with 32, nearly half of which were in the investment services subcategory. In contrast, the NFT and Betting & Daily Fantasy subcategories saw the most significant contraction, with decreases of 17 and 8 sponsorship deals, respectively, suggesting a noticeable shift away from these areas.

Sporting KC top club, Lionel Messi top athlete
For the second consecutive year, Sporting Kansas City continues to lead all MLS teams in sponsorship deals with 125, followed by the 2021 expansion club, Austin FC (111), and 2023 Supporters' Shield winner FC Cincinnati (107). Sporting Kansas City has not only maintained their first-place position but has also expanded their lead, boasting 13% more sponsorship deals than the second-place club.

Lionel Messi, Inter Miami FC's newest sensation, unsurprisingly leads all players with 21 brand endorsements. Rounding out the top five are Los Angeles FC's Kellyn Acosta (13), LA Galaxy's Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez (11), Nashville SC's Walker Zimmerman (10) and the Houston Dynamo's Hector Herrera (7).

View the full report here.

About SponsorUnited
Launched in 2018, SponsorUnited is the leading global sports and entertainment intelligence platform, delivering actionable data and insights to build stronger marketing partnerships. We provide unrivaled knowledge across the sponsorship and media landscape so our clients can make impactful decisions that drive business.

With over 330,000 brands, 1.6 million deals, and 11.4 million data points across sports, entertainment, media, and talent, our SaaS database enables brands, rights holders, and agencies to partner more effectively. By delivering real-time trends, on-demand research, and the most comprehensive data available, we connect the entire sponsorship ecosystem and are rewriting the partnership playbook.

SponsorUnited was ranked on the Inc. 5000—the most prestigious list of the fastest-growing private companies in America—in both 2022 and 2023. Visit to learn more and discover exclusive data and insights to make intelligent partnership decisions at speed and scale.

Media Contact:
Lisa Brown

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SOURCE SponsorUnited

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