MLS opens door to sports betting sponsorship on jerseys
Major League Soccer (MLS) is breaking ground as the first US professional sports league to allow sports betting operators and liquor companies’ logos to appear on jerseys and stadium names. This represents a huge leap forward for American sports by embracing a practice that’s been common across the rest of the world for decades.
Under the new rules, liquor company and sports betting operators can pay to place their logos on team jerseys, but the deal gets even better for the gambling world. In a move that breaks even further from the rigid standards set by the big leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA, NHL) MLS has also moved to allow sportsbooks to operate within their stadiums.
If all of this sounds like a very progressive stance for an American sports league, that’s because that’s exactly what MLS is trying to accomplish. In an interview with Fortune.com, Carter Ladd, the league’s senior vice president of business development, said, “We want to be viewed as a progressive league, and provide our clubs with an appropriate level of flexibility. We want to be viewed as a progressive league, and provide our clubs with an appropriate level of flexibility.”
That flexibility, however, comes with a few minor restrictions. Sports betting and liquor logos will not be allowed on youth size jerseys or at soccer camp jerseys. MLS players under the age of 21 (and there are quite a few) will now be allowed to appear in ads for products from either group.
The new rules go into place immediately, so don’t be surprised to see the new logos appearing in the very near future.
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