In an effort to limit potential losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, sponsors are now permitted to be seen on the shorts of Major League Soccer (MLS) teams.
In a report by the Washington Post, MLS franchises will be given the ability to expand on their sponsorships with the licence to now have partners on club shorts.
The league’s 26 teams will be given time to negotiate deals before the competition restart takes place with a five-week tournament at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
It’s reported that the MLS wants to gain advantage from being the first US men’s team sport to return with all 54 matches televised.
Previously, MLS teams were only allowed a main solitary shirt sponsor and an extra right sleeve sponsor. Only four teams secured sponsors for both of these, which was introduced this season. There could be the option to sell both, while the MLS is looking at allowing teams to feature sponsors on the left side too.
The existing MLS sleeve sponsorships are believed to bring in around US$500,000 to US$1 million a year.
According to the report, the additional branding opportunities are designed to allow franchises to get the most out of their current local sponsorship agreements that are currently being hampered by the pandemic, especially with matches being played behind closed doors.
Some sponsors have reportedly withheld payments to teams as MLS teams try to deal with the financial toll that is linked to the coronavirus pandemic.
In fact, MLS commissioner Don Garber revealed just how much Covid-19 has setback the league, with MLS losing around US$1 billion.
“[Short sponsors are] one of many ideas MLS has discussed,” the league said in a statement.
“But at this time, we do not have anything to announce.”
MLS is due to begin again on July 8th with the MLS is Back Tournament. All 26 teams are divided into six groups for the opening round, with 16 teams advancing to the knockout rounds. The overall winner earns a spot in the 2021 Concacaf Champions League.
Teams had only played two games of competition before it was postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak.