NEW YORK – Right now, Major League Soccer clubs can accept sponsorships from sports betting companies.
What Does This Policy Change Mean?
MLS has loosened the rules on what companies can sponsor the clubs in the league. Clubs can now partner with sports betting companies and spirits companies for sponsorships. Sports wagering companies now have stadium naming rights. This is a deal done in partnership with MLS clubs.
On top of naming rights, sports betting sponsors can advertise their logo on stadium signs. Stadiums also now have the potential to open up US sportsbooks as well. But this cannot happen through a club. They are not allowed to become licensed to offer sports wagering. Sportsbooks will have to go through a third-party operator do so.
The Senior Vice President of Business Development at MLS is Carter Ladd. He pointed to the recent law changes in sports betting for why they are allowing this to happen.
“We want to be viewed as a progressive league and provide our clubs with an appropriate level of flexibility,” said Ladd to Fortune.
The views on sports betting in the US are changing. A good number of states have legalized sports wagering and bills are being considered as well. Ladd wants MLS to not shy away from the changing views of sports betting.
There are some restrictions that are in place for clubs who do partner with sports betting companies. Sports betting companies can have their logos on the front of club jerseys. The restriction comes in the form of what to do with club merchandise.
Buying soccer jerseys, fans will have them exactly as the team wears them. That means sponsors are all over fan worn jerseys. This includes youth jerseys. The clubs are not allowed to put spirits or sports betting sponsors on youth jerseys. MLS wants all merchandise and advertising to be age appropriate.
Clubs that are in states with legal sports betting are already talking to potential sponsors. Teams such as D.C. United, New York Red Bulls, and Philadelphia Union are having such discussions. MLS expects more teams to gain sports betting sponsors during the 2019 season.
Odds For Upcoming MLS Games
Jerseys will not feature sponsorship patches just yet, but MLS betting is in full swing. The New York Red Bulls are facing the Chicago Fire on Friday. The New York Red Bulls have +101 odds of winning against the Chicago Fire. There are +230 odds of the Chicago Fire defeating the New York Red Bulls.
On Saturday, the Philadelphia Union has +230 odds of beating New York City FC. NYCFC is the favorite to win and they have +107 odds to beat the Philadelphia Union. D.C. United Takes on Toronto FC on Saturday as well. D.C. United has +101 of beating Toronto FC. Toronto FC is currently sitting at +225 of beating D.C. United.