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Mike Johnson June 28, 2019 3 min read
MLS Embraces Gambling and Liquor Sponsorships
- MLS opens up to gambling opportunities
- Players’ jersey will promote gambling and alcoholic spirits beverages
- Players under 21 won’t be allowed to carry sponsorship jerseys
Major League Soccer is one of the latest organizations to embrace gambling and betting opportunities.
Major League Reveals Gambling Sponsorship Opportunities
Major League Soccer (MLS) has said that it is open to gambling sponsorship opportunities. As a result of a change to its commercial policies, participating teams can now team up with betting and gambling companies. All teams in the MLS can sign various deals with gaming and betting operators, including shirt sponsorship deals, and more.
The MLS will expand the reach of such sponsorship opportunities to include alcoholic beverages as well. Brands’ logos will appear on team jerseys’ fronts and sleeves. However, such partnerships won’t be struck before 2020.
There will be strict exclusion criteria. For example, youth teams won’t be allowed to wear gambling or alcoholic sponsorship logos on their jerseys and any player under the age of 21 will also be given an advertisement-free shirt.
Expanding the Reach of Gambling Partnerships in MLS
Future gambling partnerships will also apply to stadium naming rights, stadium signage, field-board advertising, as well as any activities that presupose ad-hoc marketing campaigns pre-approved by regulators and aired or broadcast via any available medium.
As a result of these new rules, gambling companies will be allowed to open their private venues withint the stadium and cater to betting soccer fans, providing that it is legal to bet on gambling in the states where games are taking place.
MLS has signed partnerships with both GVC Holdings Roar Digital and MGM Resorts last year, paving new opportunities for gambling deals in soccer in the United States. Apart from gambling, MGM Resorts and Roar will work along with the MLS to introduce a free play game for fans to enjoy.
Socccer fans can expect to see multiple activision opportunities launched by gambling companies during regular games moving forward.
Efforts to embrace sports betting and gambling have been ongoing. In March, 2019, MLS Commissioner Don Gaber had this to say:
“I’ve never really objected to the fact that somebody would come into the owner’s box and take a bet on a game.”
With the go-ahead given at a managerial level, the MLS is one of the first major sporting bodies in the United States to promote betting and gambling opportunities. Previously, the NBA has been attempts trying to introduce betting patnerships to boost revenue.