KIN Partners will be the exclusive sponsorship sales representation agency.
Miami, FL (Tuesday, February 5, 2019) by Kenneth Russo –
Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami (“Inter Miami CF”) continues to make impressive steps in its development, now with slightly more than one year before it kicks off play in North America’s Major League Soccer.
The club announced on February 1, 2019, that it has entered into a contract with the London-based firm, which is headed up by industry veterans Simon Oliveira and Matthew Kay, KIN recently expanded into Miami and Oliveira, the Managing Director of KIN, has previously worked on Beckham’s other business projects. Among KIN’s roster of international clients is Neymar, Jr.
KIN’s role will be to identify and develop sponsorship opportunities for the expansion club.
“Miami is recognised as a global city with a mix of wonderful cultures and we cannot wait to start working with both the vastly impressive ownership group and one of the most exciting properties in world sports today,” said Matthew Kay.
Given the transformational aspect of Miami Freedom Park, partnering with an international agency appears to be a smart move. Interest in Inter Miami CF has been high, and the home of the team, in addition to a 25,000 seat stadium, a public park and public soccer fields, will feature hotel, entertainment and retail space as well as a technology hub. It is a US$1 billion complex that will create thousands of jobs and generate millions of dollars in tax revenue to the city, county, state and school board.
Miami, FL (Thursday, January 24, 2019) Kenneth Russo –
Beginning in 2014, Major League Soccer began allowing clubs to sell a separate sponsorship for their training gear. Beginning with the Portland Timbers, followed by the New York Red Bulls, as of 2018, five MLS clubs out of the then 23 (Cincinnati is the 24th club and will enter the league in 2019) had negotiated and signed separate training gear sponsorship agreements.
Traditionally, teams in Major League Soccer and other football leagues around the world signed a kit sponsorship deal with one primary partner. Training kit sponsorships separate out the primary kit sponsor from apparel such as training and warm up gear. The practice has become widespread in European leagues, and the leagues executives noticed.
This separation of sponsorships represents a significant source of revenue for MLS clubs. Though financial details of such deals are not released by the league, it is estimated that a training gear sponsorship can fall into the high six-figure to low seven-figure of revenue annually.
The Portland Timbers were the first MLS club to sign a training kit sponsor, partnering with a local bank named Simple in December, 2014. In 2018, the club entered into a multiyear training kit sponsorship deal with Portland-based contact lens subscription service Sightbox. As part of the agreement, The Timbers and Sightbox will collaborate on a number of community outreach activities. Sightbox will also be prominently displayed at Providence Park, and serve as the presenting partner of the player, coach and staff game day entrance, the Providence Park box office and each individual MLS season.
The Timbers’ new training kit deal followed the club’s signing of a multiyear extension with kit sponsor Alaska Airlines, which has been with the team since it moved up to MLS in 2011. As part of the terms of the extension, Alaska Airlines agreed to permit the Timbers to carve out the training kit rights from its deal. Indeed, it is the ability to unbundle these assets that makes it attractive to clubs.
“Each team has their own situation. If a club is able to bundle everything together and maximize it that way and feels that’s the best approach — great,” said Mike Golub, Timbers President of Business. “For us, this gives us a way to maximize the value of the assets, but also extend our family of partners and increase activation.”
While Golub declined to comment on the financial value of the training kit deal, he did say that combined, they rank in the top tier of revenue deals across the league when compared to other teams. For a smaller market like Portland that matters. “It is material, and while I don’t think anyone will make the case they’re worth as much as the [game] kit sponsorship, there is a high level of value with the amount of exposure you’re able to get in practice every day,” he added.
The New York Red Bulls, who became the second team in MLS to sign a training kit sponsor in 2015, have already renewed the club’s deal with Japanese heavy equipment manufacturer Yanmar. The Japanese company is also a main partner company of J. League’s Cerezo Osaka Football Club. https://www.yanmar.com/global/about/sports/soccer/sponsored/redbull/
The new multiyear deal constitutes’s the Red Bulls largest sponsorship. Yanmar is provided with branding on both sleeves of the club’s training and warmup gear. It is estimated by industry sources that the previous deal stood at more than seven figures annually, and Red Bulls general manager Marc De Grandpre said the sponsorship renewal with Yanmar is an increase over the previous one.
For clubs like the Red Bulls who do not have a stadium naming-rights partner, gaining the most from all marketable assets is critical. In addition to not haveing a stadium naming rights deal in place, the club is owned by Red Bull, who has its corporate logo on the front of the game kits. De Grandpre added that “between coverage of training, the pregame and interviews that are done for national television, it might be our number one earned media driver — it’s a tremendous asset for the club to leverage.”
Their rival in the actual city, New York City Football Club, is among the teams with separate game-day jersey and training kit sponsors, having inked a multiyear deal with New York Presbyterian Hospital in 2015.
In 2017, the Houston Dynamo carved out its training kit sponsorship from its deal with natural resource company BHP Billiton, and signed a multiyear deal with gasoline company 76. That sponsorship with BHP Billiton later ended, leaving Dynamo without a jersey sponsor during the 2018 season, up until this past November, when the club signed with MD Anderson Cancer Center in a multiyear partnership. Chief Revenue Officer Steven Powell said Houston intends to keep the sponsorships separate going forward. In addition to the training gear sponsorship, 76 is also the season presenting sponsor of the club and has entitlement of one of the stadium’s gates.
“The training kit sponsorship is a high-profile asset that has a really impactful brand integration and brand association,” Powell said. “With the right partner who builds a platform around the assets, I don’t think it dilutes the value of a jersey or naming-rights partner.”
What does the future hold for training gear sponsorships in MLS? The Red Bulls’ De Grandpre believes that in the next few years the bulk of MLS clubs will find a partner in the training kit category. “There’s tremendous value for all the clubs here, both in terms of activation and significant dollars where the sum of the parts can be greater if the club manages it properly,” he said.
MLS mirroring the trend in other leagues around the world.
Miami, FL (Wednesday, January 23, 2019) by Kenneth Russo –
Major European leagues have it. The trend has been adopted in North America by the NBA. And now, your local Major League Soccer club will have a new look with the 2020 season.
In an announcement last October 23, 2018, the league approved clubs to add a sponsored sleeve patch on team uniforms. In addition to the sponsor on the front of a kit (jersey), clubs will be able to place a second sponsor on the right sleeve of the game shirt. The league’s badge will remain on the left sleeve, tailored to match the club colours.
The size of the sponsored sleeve patch will replace and be roughly the same size as the existing MLS logo on the right jersey sleeve, which is roughly 2.5 by 2.5 inches (6.35 x 6.35 cm).
The league will allow clubs to create their own sales strategies. Clubs can also decide whether the sleeve sponsor patch will be sold on shirts sold at retail. There are currently restrictions on some categories, such as alcohol and gambling, but those are under review by the league. There are also restrictions aimed at providing protection for some current league partners. For example, Nike cannot negotiate a sleeve sponsor deal, as the league has an apparel supplier contract with Adidas to supply all uniforms. (see Official Apparel Supplier) Securing a sleeve sponsor is also only available to those clubs that have already secured a primary kit sponsor.
The sleeve sponsor initiative will be for a four-year term to begin with, though given the additional revenue it will generate (Sleeve Sponsorships), I foresee the program being extended.
“The sleeve patch is a premium opportunity for brands to be connected with our League and clubs in mutually beneficial ways,” said Gary Stevenson, president and managing director, MLS Business Ventures. “As our League continues to expand, and with more fans in the U.S. and Canada viewing our matches, attending our games, and engaging on social media, the visibility of the sleeve patches will be substantial.”
Creating space for additional corporate sponsors is a growing trend that has only recently been embraced by some North American sports leagues.
Last season (2017-18), the NBA allowed jersey ads for the first time, and now all but three of the league’s 30 teams have sold the space, driving a wide range of revenue. The defending champion Golden State Warriors have a three-year, $60 million USD deal with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, Inc., also the kit sponsors of FC Barcelona, while the Utah Jazz have a deal with Qualtrics LLC’s cancer charity for $4 million USD per year. The Miami Heat have a sponsor patch deal with Weston, FL based Ultimate Software. Heat partner with Ultimate Software
The basketball league’s 21 patch deals in place last season generated $493 million worth of media awareness, according to valuation firm GumGum Sports. According to Forbes and GumGum Sports, the 2.5 by 2.5-inch patches are generating over $350 million worth of value just through exposure on social media (75 percent of the value), with 25 percent of value coming from TV broadcasts.. The only other signage in the NBA that generates that much revenue is the Nike logo stitched on NBA jerseys.
Many sponsorship deals for the NBA patches started as low as $5 million over three years, yielding a return on investment of 70 percent for the sponsors. Others have paid between $20–60 million for these sponsorship spaces and still see an ROI of over 5 percent. In contrast, the NFL, NHL, and MLB have all resisted the trend, thus far.
Miami, FL (Saturday, January 5, 2019, by Kenneth Russo)
The first week of the new year sees the leaders of Serie A, Juventus, reaching a six-year extension of their contract with Adidas. The German company will now continue to supply kits and merchandise for Juve until 2027. The contract extension is worth $58 million USD per year. The new agreement begins at the start of the 2019-2020 season.
The Serie A champions’ previous six-year agreement with the kit supplier was set to expire in 2021. Under terms of the contract extension, Adidas will pay Juventus $464 million USD over the course of the next eight seasons. Adidas will also be the technical partner of the club’s youth side. Other terms and conditions of the existing contract remain unchanged.
Juventus have made a concerted effort to increase their marketability, highlighted by signing last summer of global superstar Cristiano Ronaldo for a fee of €100 million ($114 million USD). They also had a special shirt featured (see cover photo) in this year’s edition of the EA Sports series, FIFA 19.
Juventus releases a statement about this new deal with Adidas: “During this period, Adidas will be the technical partner of all Juventus teams for a minimum fixed consideration of €408 million. The consideration does not include additional royalty payments upon exceeding a threshold of sales and sports performance bonuses.”
The club news release added: “With respect to the excellent performance of the commercial partnership and to the increased visibility of the Juventus brand in 2018, Adidas recognised an additional bonus of €15 million for 2018, which will be paid prior to 31 December 2018.”
In a separate agreement, Adidas will also grant Juventus a $17 million USD bonus as a result of the club’s successful 2018 season, in which the Torino based club won Italian soccer’s Scudetto for a seventh consecutive year.
It’s been another stellar season thus far for La Vecchia Dama. They sit nine points clear of rivals Napoli and are favourites to win an eighth consecutive Scudetto. Massimiliano Allegri’s side have only having dropped four points in the first half of the season.