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MLS 2023 commercial guide: Every franchise, every sponsor, all the major broadcast details

With Major League Soccer (MLS) back underway, SportsPro presents all the commercial information you need to know about the new season.

27 February 2023 SportsPro

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Major League Soccer’s (MLS) 2023 season brings with it perhaps the biggest change in the competition’s 28-year history.

The industry will be watching on with interest as North America’s premier soccer league embarks on the first year of its partnership with Apple, which last year made by far its most significant sports rights investment to date by securing a global streaming deal with MLS for the next ten years.

New four-year agreements with Fox Sports, Univision, TSN and RDS ensure that the league will continue to have a limited presence on linear television, but Apple’s US$2.5 billion deal means the tech giant’s Apple TV streaming service will be the only place to watch every MLS game starting this season.

Also new for 2023 is a female-owned franchise in St Louis, while the coming months should also provide some answers regarding the identity of MLS’s 30th team. Commissioner Don Garber revealed last week that Las Vegas and San Diego are the frontrunners to secure what could be the competition’s final expansion slot and said that the league is aiming to make an announcement “by the end of the year”.

On the sponsorship front, MLS signed several sponsorship deals ahead of the new season, including a six-year extension of its kit supply partnership with Adidas for a reported US$830 million. The league has also prolonged its relationship with German carmaker Audi and secured a new agreement with RBC Wealth Management. 

Another significant development for 2023 is the expansion and reformatting of the Leagues Cup, which will now see MLS pause its season for a month between 21st July and 19th August so teams can compete against their Liga MX rivals from Mexico in a World Cup-style tournament sanctioned by Concacaf. In the first major soccer tournament to feature every club from a pair of top-flight leagues, three teams from the Leagues Cup will qualify for the Concacaf Champions League.

The move sees MLS and Liga MX expand their existing partnership after launching a ‘super cup’ format matchup, which featured their respective champions, in 2018 called the Campeones Cup. MLS and its marketing division, Soccer United Marketing (SUM), included the Leagues Cup in its new media rights deals beginning in 2023.

With much for MLS to be buoyant about, SportsPro presents its annual breakdown of all the commercial details you need to know about the league after the regular season got underway over the weekend.

League executives

Commissioner: Don Garber
Deputy commissioner: Gary Stevenson
President and chief administrative officer: JoAnn Neale
President, MLS Next Pro and EVP, MLS: Charles Altchek
EVP, commissioner’s office and chief DEI officer: Sola Winley
General counsel: Anastasia Danias Schmidt
EVP, communications: Dan Courtemanche
EVP, media: Seth Bacon
Chief financial officer: Sean Prendergast
Chief information officer, SVP technology: John Sullivan

The teams

Note: All valuations are from Forbes. Sponsorship values and contract details have been officially disclosed or reported. Average attendance figures were reported by Soccer Stadium Digest. Other partners can be found on Sportico.

Eastern Conference

Atlanta United

Owner: Arthur Blank (AMB Sports and Entertainment Group)
President: Garth Lagerwey
Valuation: US$850 million
Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Stadium (42,500, expandable to 71,000)
2022 average home attendance: 47,116
Arena operator: AMB Sports and Entertainment Group
Stadium naming rights partner: Mercedes-Benz (US$324 million total, signed 2017, expires 2044)
Main sponsor: American Family Insurance (multi-year deal, signed 2016)
Sleeve sponsor: Piedmont Healthcare (multi-year deal, signed 2020)
Other partners: AT&T, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Emory Healthcare, Equifax, Gallagher, Georgia Power, Home Depot, Socios.com

Charlotte FC

Owner: David Tepper
President: Joe LaBue
Valuation: US$625 million
Stadium: Bank of America Stadium (74,857)
2022 average attendance: 35,260
Arena operator: Panthers Stadium LLC
Stadium naming rights partner: Bank of America (US$7 million per year, signed 2004, expires 2024)
Main sponsor: Ally (US$7 million per year, multi-year deal signed 2019)
Sleeve sponsor: Centene Corporation (US$5 million to US$7 million per year, multi-year deal signed 2021)
Other partners: Anheuser-Busch, Atrium Health, BodyArmor, Campbell’s, Coca-Cola, Domino’s, Honeywell, Lowe’s, Molson Coors, US Foods

Chicago Fire

Owner: Joe Mansueto
President: Dave Baldwin
Valuation: US$425 million
Stadium: Soldier Field (61,500)
2022 average home attendance: 15,848
Arena operator: SMG
Stadium naming rights partner: N/A
Main sponsor: N/A
Sleeve sponsor: N/A
Other partners: Allstate, BodyArmor, Buick, Continental Tire, Heineken, Jewel Osco, Procter & Gamble, Proven IT, Revolution Brewing, Socios.com, Wintrust

FC Cincinnati

Owners: Carl Lindner III, Meg Whitman
Co-chief executive: Jeff Berding
Valuation: US$560 million
Stadium: TQL Stadium (26,000)
2022 average home attendance: 22,487
Arena operator: FC Cincinnati
Stadium naming rights partner: TQL (multi-year deal, signed 2021)
Main sponsor: Mercy Health (US$5 million a year, signed 2017, expires 2028)
Sleeve sponsor: N/A
Other partners: Allegiant Air, Cintas, CTI, First Financial Bank, Heineken, Kroger, Medpace, Molson Coors, Ohio National, Procter & Gamble, Workhorse

Columbus Crew

Owners: Dee and Jimmy Haslam, Pete Edwards
President of business operations: Kristin Bernert
Valuation: US$550 million
Stadium: Lower.com Field (20,371)
2022 average home attendance: 19,237
Arena operator: Columbus Crew
Stadium naming rights partner: Lower.com (US$3million to US$4 million per year, long-term deal, signed 2021)
Main sponsor: Nationwide (US$3 million per year, multi-year deal, signed 2020)
Sleeve sponsor: Tipico (multi-year deal, signed 2022)
Other partners: Adidas, American Electric Power, BodyArmor, Constellation Brands, Meijer, Molson Coors, OhioHealth, PepsiCo, Vertiv, Scotts

DC United

Owner: Jason Levien and Stephen Kaplan
President: Danita Johnson
Valuation: US$700 million
Stadium: Audi Field (20,000)
2022 average home attendance: 16,256
Arena operator: DC United
Stadium naming rights partner: Audi (signed 2017, expires 2030)
Main sponsor: XDC Network (signed 2022, expires 2025)
Sleeve sponsor: N/A
Other partners: Adidas, BodyArmor, EagleBank, FanDuel, Grant Thornton, Heineken, Intercontinental Hotels, Leidos, McDonald’s, Moet Hennessy, Procter & Gamble

Inter Miami

Owners: Jorge and Jose Mas, David Beckham
Chief business officer: Xavier Asensi
Valuation: US$600 million
Stadium: DRV PNK Stadium (18,000)
2022 average attendance: 12,637
Arena operator: Inter Miami
Stadium naming rights partner: AutoNation (three-year deal, signed 2021)
Main sponsor: XBTO (US$4 million to US$5 million per year, multi-year deal, signed 2021)
Sleeve sponsor: Xmanna (‘seven-figure’ deal, multi-year deal, signed 2021)
Other partners: Baptist Health, Captain Morgan, City National Bank, DEX Imaging, Florida Blue, Gallagher, Haig Club, Heineken, Procter & Gamble, Publix

CF Montréal

Owner: Joey Saputo
President and chief executive: Gabriel Gervais
Valuation: US$375 million
Stadium: Saputo Stadium (19,616)
2022 average attendance: 15,905
Arena operator: CF Montréal
Stadium naming rights partner: N/A
Main sponsor: Bank of Montreal (US$4 million a year, long-term extension signed 2018)
Sleeve sponsor: N/A
Other partners: Adidas, Allstate, Bet99.net, Budweiser, Fonds de solidarite FTQ, GE Appliances, Huawei, Lait’s Go, Pepsi, Socios, Videotron

Nashville SC

Owner: John Ingram
Chief executive: Ian Ayre
Valuation: US$500 million
Stadium: Geodis Park (30,000)
2022 average attendance: 27,554
Arena operator: Nashville SC
Stadium naming rights partner: Geodis (US$3 million to US$4 million a year, multi-year deal, signed 2022)
Main sponsor: Renasant Bank (signed 2019, expires 2023)
Sleeve sponsor: Hyundai (long-term deal, signed 2021)
Other partners: Adidas, Aon, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Kroger, Taco Bell, United Rentals, Valkyrie, Vanderbilt Health, Zaxby’s

New England Revolution

Owner: Kraft family
President: Brian Bilello
Valuation: US$475 million
Stadium: Gillette Stadium (20,000)
2022 average home attendance: 20,319
Arena operator: Kraft Group
Stadium naming rights partner: Gillette (extension signed 2010, expires 2031)
Main sponsor: United Healthcare (US$3 million per year, signed 2011, multi-year deal)
Sleeve sponsor: N/A
Other partners: Adidas, Anheuser-Busch, CVS Health, Dan O’Brien Automotive, Dunkin’ Donuts, JetBlue, Mass General Brigham, Pepsi, Putnam Investments, Santander Bank, Socios

MLS announced an extension of its kit supply deal with Adidas ahead of the new season

New York City FC

Owners: City Football Group and Yankee Global Enterprises
Chief executive: Brad Sims
Valuation: US$800 million
Stadium: Yankee Stadium (28,743)
2022 average home attendance: 17,180
Arena operator: Yankee Stadium LLC
Stadium naming rights partner: N/A
Main sponsor: Etihad Airways (CFG-wide multi-year deal)
Sleeve sponsor: Dude Wipes (multi-year deal, signed 2022)
Other partners: Adidas, Cisco Systems, CityMD, Eleven Sports Media, Flo EV Charging, Heineken, Mastercard, Montefiore Medical Center, NFP, Nissan, Procter & Gamble

New York Red Bulls

Owner: Red Bull GmbH
General manager: Marc de Grandpre
Valuation: US$525 million
Stadium: Red Bull Arena (25,000)
2022 average home attendance: 17,002
Arena operator: Red Bull
Stadium naming rights partner: Red Bull
Main sponsor: Red Bull
Sleeve sponsor: OANDA (‘above’ league average of US$1.5 million, multi-year deal, signed 2022)
Other partners: Adidas, Affinity Federal Credit Union, Audi, Hackensack Meridian Health, Heineken, Honda, Horizon Blue Shield Blue Cross NJ, Hospital for Special Surgery, Provident Bank, Verizon Wireless

Orlando City

Owner: Wilf family
President: Jarrod Dillon
Valuation: US$420 million
Stadium: Exploria Stadium (25,500)
2022 average home attendance: 17,261
Arena operator: Orlando City SC
Stadium naming rights partner: Exploria Resorts (multi-year deal, signed 2019)
Main sponsor: Orlando Health (long-term extension signed 2021)
Sleeve sponsor: N/A
Other partners: Adidas, BMW, Dex Imaging, Ford Motor, JetBlue, Heineken, Pepsi, Publix, Socios, Ticketmaster, Walt Disney World

Philadelphia Union

Owner: Jay Sugarman
President: Tim McDermott
Valuation: US$575 million
Stadium: Subaru Park (18,500)
2022 average home attendance: 18,126
Arena operator: Keystone S&E
Stadium naming rights partner: Subaru (multi-year deal, signed 2020)
Main sponsor: Bimbo Bakeries (‘multimillion-dollar’ deal, multi-year extension signed 2023)
Sleeve sponsor: N/A
Other partners: Chick-fil-A, Coca-Cola, Crozer Health, Independence Blue Cross, Premier Orthopedics, Primepoint, Socios, WSFS Bank

Toronto FC

Owner: Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
President: Bill Manning
Valuation: US$690 million
Stadium: BMO Field (27,980)
2022 average home attendance: 25,423
Arena operator: Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
Stadium naming rights partner: Bank of Montreal (ten-year extension signed 2022)
Main sponsor: Bank of Montreal (ten-year extension signed 2022)
Sleeve sponsor: General Electric Appliances (multi-year deal, signed 2020)
Other partners: Adidas, Bell Canada, Benjamin Moore, BodyArmor, Canadian Tire, Coca-Cola, Dawson Dental, Mastercard, MilkUp Ontario, Socios

Western Conference

Austin FC

Owner: Two Oak Ventures/Anthony Precourt
President: Andy Loughnane
Valuation: US$680 million
Stadium: Q2 Stadium (20,738)
2022 average home attendance: 20,738
Arena operator: Two Oak Ventures LLC
Stadium naming rights partner: Q2 Holdings (value not reported, multi-year deal signed 2021)
Main sponsor: Yeti (worth ‘more than’ US$4 million a year, multi-year deal, signed 2020)
Sleeve sponsor: Netspend (signed 2020, multi-year deal)
Other partners: C4 Energy, Diageo, Heineken, Lexus, Michelob Ultra, Pointsbet, St David’s Healthcare, SeatGeek, The Zebra

Colorado Rapids

Owner: Stan Kroenke
Chief operating officer: Matt Hutchings
Valuation: US$350 million
Stadium: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (18,061)
2022 average home attendance: 14,473
Arena operator: Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE)
Stadium naming rights partner: Dick’s Sporting Goods (worth US$2 million a year, signed 2006, expires 2026)
Main sponsor: UCHealth (Signed 2022, expires 2029)
Sleeve sponsor: N/A
Other partners: Allstate, BodyArmor, Coca-Cola, HealthOne, King Soopers, Ticketmaster, Toyota, Truly, Socios

FC Dallas

Owner: Clark and Dan Hunt
Chief executive: Clark Hunt
Valuation: US$400 million
Stadium: Toyota Stadium (19,096)
2022 average home attendance: 16,469
Arena operator: Frisco Soccer, LP
Stadium naming rights partner: Toyota (‘long-term’ deal, signed 2013)
Main sponsor: Children’s Health and UT Southwestern Medical Center (multi-year deal, signed 2022)
Sleeve sponsor: Advocare (multi-year deal, signed 2020)
Other partners: CoServ, Gallagher, Heineken, MoneyGram, NEC, Pepsi, Texas Health Sports Medicine, UMB Bank, Vanzata, Winstar World Casino and Resort

Houston Dynamo

Owner: Ted Segal
Chief Operating Officer: Jessica O’Neill
Valuation: US$435 million
Stadium: Shell Energy Stadium (22,039)
2022 average home attendance: 16,426
Arena operator: Anschutz Entertainment Group
Stadium naming rights partner: Shell Energy (US$5 million a year, signed 2023, expires 2031)
Main sponsor: MD Anderson Cancer Center (‘more than’ US$4 million a year, multi-year deal, signed 2019)
Sleeve sponsor: N/A
Other partners: 76, Cigna, Coushatta Casino Resort, Heineken, Hess, Houston Lexus Dealers, Kroger, Memorial Hermann, PNC Financial

Los Angeles Galaxy

Owner: Philip Anschutz
President: Chris Klein
Valuation: US$925 million
Stadium: Dignity Health Sports Park (27,000)
2022 average home attendance: 22,841
Arena operator: Anschutz Entertainment Group
Stadium naming rights partner: Dignity Health (worth more than US$6 million a year, signed 2019, expires 2029)
Main sponsor: Herbalife Nutrition (US$7 million a year, multi-year renewal signed 2022)
Sleeve sponsor: N/A
Other partners: American Express, JLab, Kinecta FCU, Modelo, Socios, Universal Studios Hollywood, Volkswagen, Yaamava’ Resort & Casino

Los Angeles FC

Owners: Larry Berg, Brandon Beck, Bennett Rosenthal
Co-president and chief business officer: Larry Freedman
Valuation: US$1 billion
Stadium: BMO Stadium (22,000)
2022 average home attendance: 22,090
Arena operator: LAFC
Stadium naming rights partner: BMO Financial (US$10 million a year, signed 2023, expires 2033)
Main sponsor: Flex (US$5 million a year, signed 2021, expires 2026)
Sleeve sponsor: Ford (signed 2023)
Other partners: Estrella TV, Delta Air Lines, Heineken, Kaiser Permanente, PepsiCo, Postmates, Proximo Spirits, Remitly, Toyota

Minnesota United

Owner: Bill McGuire
Chief executive: Shari Ballard
Valuation: US$540 million
Stadium: Allianz Field (19,400)
2022 average home attendance: 19,555
Arena operator: Minnesota United FC
Stadium naming rights partner: Allianz (signed 2017, expires 2028)
Main sponsor: Target (multi-year deal, signed 2017)
Sleeve sponsor: N/A
Other partners: Alina Health, Bell Bank, Bluecross and Blueshield of Minnesota, BMW, BodyArmor, Cloverdale, Continental, Coors Light, Cub, Cuervo, Daktronics, Ecolab, Federated Insurance, The Freehouse, Great Clips, Gustavus, Heineken, Jani King, Loon Juice, Lift Bridge, Pepsi, Seat Geek, Socios

Portland Timbers

Owner: Peregrine Sports, LLC
Chief executive: Heather Davis
Valuation: US$650 million
Stadium: Providence Park (25,218)
2022 average home attendance: 23,841
Arena operator: Peregrine Sports, LLC
Stadium naming rights partner: Providence Health and Services (signed 2014, expires 2029)
Main sponsor: Alaska Airlines (US$3 million a year, extension signed 2018)
Sleeve sponsor: N/A
Other partners: Audi, Daimler Truck, Dutch Bros Coffee, KeyBank, Lyft, McDonald’s, Toyota, Unitus Community Credit Union

All MLS teams will wear the Apple TV logo on their sleeve to promote the tech giant’s broadcast deal with the league

Real Salt Lake

Owners: David Blitzer and Ryan Smith
President: John Kimball
Valuation: US$440 million
Stadium: America First Field (20,213)
2022 average home attendance: 20,470
Arena operator: Real Salt Lake
Stadium naming rights partner: America First Credit Union (US$5 million a year, signed 2022, expires 2037)
Main sponsor: LifeVantage (US$3 million a year, signed 2013, expires 2023)
Sleeve sponsor: N/A
Other partners: Coca-Cola, Ford Motor, KeyBank, Sherwin-Williams, Socios, Toyota, University of Utah Health, WCF Insurance, Wendy’s, Zions Bank

San Jose Earthquakes

Owner: John Fisher
President: Jared Shawlee
Valuation: US$450 million
Stadium: PayPal Park (18,000)
2022 average home attendance: 15,260
Arena operator: San Jose Earthquakes
Stadium naming rights partner: PayPal (US$2 million per year, signed 2021, expires 2031)
Main sponsor: Intermedia (multi-year deal, signed 2020)
Sleeve sponsor: N/A
Other partners: Audi, Adobe, CEFCU, Coca-Cola, Dropbox, Kaiser Permanente, Roku, Socios, Stanford Medicine, Uber

Seattle Sounders

Owners: Adrian Hanauer (majority owner), Jody Allen, Drew Carey
President of business operations: Peter Tomozawa
Valuation: US$660 million
Stadium: Lumen Field (37,722)
2022 average home attendance: 33,607
Arena operator: First & Goal Inc
Stadium naming rights partner: Lumen Technologies (US$162.7 million, signed 2019, expires 2033)
Main sponsor: Providence (‘more than US$5 million a year’, long-term deal, signed 2023)
Sleeve sponsor: Emerald Queen Casino (multi-year deal, signed 2021)
Other partners: Boeing, Captain Morgan, Delta Air Lines, ExtraMile, Oracle, Starbucks, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, WaFD Bank, Western Washington Toyota Dealers

Sporting Kansas City

Owner: Sporting Club
President and chief executive: Jake Reid
Valuation: US$590 million
Stadium: Children’s Mercy Park (18,467)
2022 average home attendance: 18,365
Arena operator: Sporting Kansas City
Stadium naming rights partner: Children’s Mercy Hospital (signed 2015, expires 2025)
Main sponsor: Compass Minerals (signed 2022, expires 2028)
Sleeve sponsor: N/A
Other partners: Anheuser-Busch, Audi, Central Bank, Coca-Cola, Dairy Farmers of America, Google Fiber, Mazuma Credit Union, Price Chopper, Socios, UMB

St Louis City SC

Owners: Enterprise Holdings and World Wide Technologies
Chief executive: Carolyn Kindle
Valuation: N/A (new to the league in 2023)
Stadium: Citypark (22,500)
2022 average home attendance: N/A (new to the league in 2023)
Arena operator: St Louis City SC
Stadium naming rights partner: N/A
Main sponsor: Purina (signed 2021)
Sleeve sponsor: BJC HealthCare (signed 2022)
Other partners: Anheuser-Busch, Cisco, Lou Fusz Automotive Network, Together Credit Union

Vancouver Whitecaps

Owners: Greg Kerfoot, Jeff Mallett, Steve Luzco
Chief executive: Axel Schuster
Valuation: US$410 million
Stadium: BC Place (22,120)
2022 average home attendance: 16,399
Arena operator: BC Pavilion Corporation
Stadium naming rights partner: N/A
Main sponsor: Telus (signed 2023, expires 2027)
Sleeve sponsor: N/A
Other partners: A&W Restaurants, Asahi, Bank of Montreal, El Jimador Tequila, GE Appliances, Hyatt Hotels, Kal Tire, MNP, Mr Lube, Re/Max, University Canada West

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