MLS removes ban on gambling sponsorships
The soccer league continues to embrace sports gambling to attract more fans
While most sports leagues are shunning the sports gambling industry, unless they receive a cut of the action for a so-called “integrity fee,” Major League Soccer (MLS) is ready to fully embrace the activity. MLS Commissioner understands that sports gambling is most likely the best way to attract more fans and has already said that the league supports sports gambling expansion across the country. Backing up that position, MLS has announced that it will revoke the ban on sponsorships by gambling entities – as well as alcohol companies.
The LA Galaxy sported the Budweiser logo on their jerseys for years, but the ban caused that relationship to enter a dry spell. Now, Budweiser, and casinos or sports gambling companies such as William Hill, could pop up on uniforms, as well, but Bud may not be the choice for Galaxy. An informal Twitter poll shows that most respondents want “something else” other than the beer giant.
According to a statement by MLS Senior VP of Business Development Carter Ladd, “Internationally, sports betting in soccer has been embraced in the fabric of the game for so many years. Expanding these right gives us the unique ability to build on the ubiquity of gambling in soccer and use it to our advantage.”
MLS teams can offer sports gambling companies advertising space within their stadiums, as well as offer branding opportunities on jerseys and during live broadcasts. If state laws permit, the teams can also join forces with operators to allow sportsbooks at the stadiums, or to participate in call-to-action marketing.
The new rules are set to go live starting with the 2020 season.