The 2018 MLS season kicked-off earlier this month. The addition of Los Angeles FC means that there are now 23 clubs fighting for the MLS Cup title. Los Angeles have also signed an innovative deal with their first-ever shirt sponsor, YouTube TV, which will see many of their games streamed exclusively online.
Elsewhere, there are many familiar brands continuing their involvement including Xbox, Alaska Airlines and Herbalife. The breakdown for 2018 jersey sponsors can be seen here:
- Beauty & Healthcare – UnitedHealthcare (New England Revolution); Orlando Health (Orlando City SC); AdvoCare (FC Dallas); Herbalife (LA Galaxy); LifeVantage (Real Salt Lake); Sutter Health (San Jose Earthquakes)
- Communications & Technology – Leidos (D.C. United); Bell Canada (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
- Entertainment – YouTube TV (Los Angeles FC); Xbox (Seattle Sounders)
- Financial Services – American Family Insurance (Atlanta United FC); BMO (Montreal Impact and Toronto FC); Transamerica (Colorado Rapids); Ivy Investments (Sporting Kansas City)
- Food/Drink – Red Bull (New York Red Bulls); Bimbo (Philadelphia Union)
- Home Improvement – Valspar (Chicago Fire)
- Shopping – Target (Minnesota United)
- Transportation – Acura (Columbus Crew SC); Etihad (New York City FC); Alaska Airlines (Portland Timbers)
While the financial details of many deals are not released to the public, it is expected that as the MLS continues to grow in popularity, so do the dollar amounts in these deals. While that can be a great thing for teams looking to sign a new partner, it can leave behind some teams who are locked in to long-term deals.
We’ve got a roundup on every jersey sponsor for 2018 below, and as always, all of your MLS gear is available at World Soccer Shop.
The second-year team continue to be sponsored by American Family Insurance who signed a multi-year partnership with the club. The company is also a partner of the Mercedes-Benz stadium. Although this is their first soccer partnership, they have been involved with other sports, notably the NFL.
Shop for Atlanta United gear here.
Chicago Fire enter the final year of their three-year deal with paint company Valspar, believed to be worth between $2.5 million and $3 million per year. The Valspar name appears within a horizontal white stripe running across the front of the jersey.
Shop for Chicago Fire gear here.
Acura are the sponsors of Columbus as their deal begins the second year of the three-year deal. When the deal was signed in 2017 the Crew touted it as the most valuable annual sponsorship in club history, while Acura entered soccer marketing with the hope of appealing to a Millennial audience.
Shop for Columbus Crew gear here.
Leidos and D.C. United have been partners since 2014 and enter the fifth season with the technology company appearing on the jersey. They already renewed this deal once, adding a two-year extension from 2017, but there is no news yet if the two will reach another deal.
Shop for DC United gear here.
The Impact are continuing their partnership with BMO, which has sponsored the side since 2012. Although details on the value of the deal are not clear, it’s likely to be more than the $4 million per season deal that was in the initial partnership from 2012 – 2016.
Shop for Montreal Impact gear here.
UnitedHealthcare were the very first shirt sponsors of the Revolution and now enter their eight season together.
Shop for New England Revolution gear here.
New York City are run by the same Abu Dhabi-based group as Manchester City and share the same sponsors. Etihad are in the fourth of a five-year deal, but it won’t be surprising to see that extended as long as the same owners remain at the helm.
Shop for New York City FC gear here.
As the club name suggests, Red Bull are the shirt sponsor of the side and the jersey is one of the most recognizable. Red Bull sponsor several teams around the globe to support their brand, including Red Bull Leipzig in the Bundesliga and the Red Bull Formula 1 team.
Shop for New York Red Bulls gear here.
Orlando Health have been with the team as they have made their way to the MLS. They joined together in 2011 when the side was in the USL Pro Division and are currently contracted until 2021.
Shop for Orlando City gear here.
The Union will have the Bimbo logo on their jersey as they have done since 2011; the current partnership runs until the end of next season. Worth about $2.3 million per season, it’s certainly an eye-catching logo and one that has drawn a mixed reception. However, all parties have consistently said that the brand recognition of Bimbo is a key factor of the partnership.
Shop for Philadelphia Union gear here.
BMO have more than one market in Canada covered thanks to their sponsorship of Toronto FC. The shirt sponsorship is part of a much larger deal between the two, which includes the naming rights to the BMO Field.
Shop for Toronto FC gear here.
The Rapids first signed a two-year deal with Transamerica in 2015. This was quickly extended until the end of 2019 as both the success of the partnership delighted parties. “Not only do we believe in what the Rapids are building as a franchise, but we are thrilled to work with an organization that supports thousands of youth soccer players and their families across the country, and one that is so active in improving its local community,” said David Macmillan, Chief Marketing Officer for Transamerica.
Shop for Colorado Rapids gear here.
Health and wellness company AdvoCare are signed on with Dallas until the end of the 2020 season, with their partnership included shirt sponsorship of academy and youth team jerseys.
Shop for FC Dallas gear here.
The Dynamo’s deal with BHP Billiton ended in 2017, making their 2018 jerseys the only ones that feature no sponsor logo on the front. Good news for fans who prefer clean jerseys, not so much for the club.
Shop for Houston Dynamo gear here.
The Galaxy and Herbalife continue in their 10-year, $44 million partnership that runs until 2022. The agreement also includes a $1 million joint community program benefiting Children’s Institute Inc., a nonprofit group that helps children who have been affected by violence in their homes or communities.
Shop for LA Galaxy gear here.
The newest team to the MLS has signed an innovative deal with YouTube TV, part of which includes shirt sponsorship. The deal will see approximately 18 LAFC games streamed exclusive to their own YouTube TV channel, which will be restricted to its subscribers in the Los Angeles market. Subscribers to YouTube TV’s $35 per month service will be able to watch the games at no additional cost.
“We have a partner in YouTube TV that is willing to do innovative things in the way of doing augmented content,” said Tom Penn, president and co-owner of LAFC. “They are pushing the envelope all the time in the ways content is delivered to fans.”
Shop for LAFC gear here.
Minnesota players will continue with a bullseye on their jersey thanks to a sponsorship with Target. Although financial details haven’t been disclosed, it is understood that the deal is among the top ten largest in the league.
Shop for Minnesota United FC gear here.
The Timbers last month confirmed that they had agreed a multi-year extension to their partnership with Alaska Airlines which began in 2011. Among the many fan-friendly components of the partnership, Alaska Airlines will continue its popular program to allow year-round early boarding privileges on its flights originating from Portland International Airport to fans wearing Timbers jerseys.
Shop for Portland Timbers gear here.
Real Salt Lake are in the middle of a $30 million, ten-year partnership with LifeVantage, the health and wellness company headquartered in the city.
Shop for Real Salt Lake gear here.
The Earthquakes continue with their multi-year partnership with the nonprofit health system Sutter Health. As part of the deal, Sutter Health will work to expand the team’s fitness program to combat childhood obesity.
Shop for San Jose Earthquakes gear here.
The Sounders enter into the final year of their deal with Xbox, which has been a part of the side since 2009. The long-standing partnership has even seen the team wear special jerseys on occasion to promote new Xbox releases. Despite this deal being among the most lucrative in the league, some at the Sounders believe they could get even more and will be considering other options for 2019 onwards.
Shop for Seattle Sounders gear here.
Sporting continue in their long-running partnership with Ivy Investments, which until last year appeared on the shirts as Ivy Funds. The deal runs until 2022.
Shop for Sporting Kansas City gear here.
Bell Canada continue to sponsor the Whitecaps as they have done since the inaugural season in 2011. As part of the deal, fans can stay connected with access to unique mobile content.
Shop for Vancouver Whitecaps gear here.
Which is your favorite MLS jersey for the new season? Shop for 2018 Major League Soccer jerseys at World Soccer Shop.