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MLS strikes Procter & Gamble deal worth “US$80m to US$100m”

North American soccer league teams with consumer goods manufacturer ahead of new season.

14 April 2021 Sam Carp
  • P&G to promote brands such as Gillette, Old Spice, Crest, Oral B, Dawn, Charmin and Bounty
  • Deal covers MLS All-Star Game, Leagues Cup and Campeones Cup, as well as Mexico’s US tour
  • Pair also promise purpose-driven community activations

Major League Soccer (MLS) has confirmed a multi-year sponsorship deal with consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) ahead of the start of its new season.

The financial terms of the agreement were not made public, but CNBC reports that P&G will pay the North American league ‘US$80 million to US$100 million’ over a five-year period to promote brands such as Gillette, Old Spice, Crest, Oral B, Dawn, Charmin and Bounty.

Under the deal, P&G will also sponsor the Mexican national soccer team’s upcoming tour of the US, as well as the Leagues Cup, an annual competition between MLS and Liga MX clubs, and the Campenoes Cup, which sees the Mexican champions take on the winners of the MLS Cup. The agreement also covers the MLS All-Star Game.

MLS and P&G have also committed to supporting local communities and bringing ‘even greater equity and inclusion’ to soccer during their partnership. One way in which the pair plan to do that is by helping families overcome barriers like cost and travel to ensure equal access to the sport at all levels.

“Major League Soccer is one of the most dynamic sports leagues in North America,” said Marc Pritchard, P&G’s chief brand officer. “We're excited for our brands to participate in a sport so beloved by millions of families, while also investing in the future with an organisation committed to utilising sport as a vehicle for positive social change.”

P&G has a number of high-profile partnerships in sport, including deals with the National Football League (NFL) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The company now joins a stable of MLS corporate sponsors that includes the likes of Adidas, Allstate, Audi, BodyArmor, Coca-Cola, Heineken, Kellogg’s, MGM Resorts, SeatGeek and Target, among others.

Gary Stevenson, MLS deputy commissioner and president and managing director of MLS business ventures, added: “The sport is on the rise like never before, and adding P&G as a key strategic partner with incredible marketing and consumer engagement expertise will undoubtedly help us accelerate our growth. There has never been a more promising time for soccer, and we look forward to partnering with P&G for many years to come.”

The 2021 MLS season gets underway on 17th April, starting with a game between the Houston Dynamo and San Jose Earthquakes.

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