Major League Soccer (MLS) is set to allow its clubs to obtain left jersey sleeve sponsorships in a bid to redeem revenue losses from the COVID-19 crisis, according to Sports Business Journal (SBJ).
Clubs were originally informed of the decision towards the end of December but were formally notified in a league-wide sponsorship call this week. It remains unclear at this stage whether teams will be allowed to sell short sleeve sponsorships beyond this season.
The report from SBJ stated that providing the opportunity for a club to add a sponsor to its jersey, is to allow for clubs to retain some of the losses that can directly attributed to the coronavirus pandemic, thought to be around $725 million across its 26 clubs, rising to $1 billion if factoring in operating expenses.
MLS franchises have been allowed to sell the right jersey sleeve as part of a four-year pilot programme, which started in 2020 and has been extended by two years, according to SBJ. Left sleeve sponsors were first introduced as part of the 'MLS is Back' tournament held last year.
Some of the MLS teams that will have a sponsor on the right jersey sleeve for the 2021 season include Atlanta United (Piedmont Healthcare), Austin FC (Netspend), DC United (FanDuel), FC Dallas (AdvoCare), LAFC (Target), Sporting KC (Compass Minerals) and Toronto FC (GE Appliances).
The move follows a number of National Hockey League (NHL) teams moving to include helmet sponsors to retain some of their own revenue losses from sponsorship deals.
Author: Jake Wilkin