AT&T has announced an extension of the sponsorship agreement it has with Major Soccer League’s commercial arm, Soccer United Marketing. The new deal will see the largest telecommunications company in the world continue sponsoring not just Major League Soccer but also the national soccer teams of Mexico and the United States. This will end any existing doubts on whether soccer would continue to be important in the marketing activities of the telecom giant.
“Soccer has tremendous global appeal and, as a long-time sponsor of MLS, we’re seeing increased interest in North America, especially among young, diverse and tech-savvy fans. Soccer definitely hits the sweet spot for our brand and business,” said the corporate sponsorships’ assistant vice president at AT&T, Ryan Luckey.
By the time new the deal ends, the number of years that AT&T will have offered financial support to U.S. soccer will exceed a decade since the telecom giant has been a corporate partner of the soccer league since 2009. Previously AT&T had also been sponsoring Major League Soccer’s All-Star Game though brick and mortar retailer Target has taken over the sponsorship.
As the corporate partner of Major League Soccer, the sponsorship that AT&T will offer will go towards the national youth, women’s and men’s teams. The sponsorship will also be offered in the FIFA World Cup which will be held next year as well as the Women’s World Cup which will be held in 2019. In 2015, the national women’s team of the United States won the World Cup. In the 2011 edition they had come second. The national women’s soccer team therefore provides AT&T with an ample opportunity for global exposure.
With regards to the national soccer team of Mexico, AT&T will sponsor the team’s annual United States Tour. AT&T has been sponsoring the tour which draws huge audiences for over a decade. Futbol Fiesta’s title sponsorship has also been awarded to AT&T.
Marketing opportunities for the telecom operator also exist in autograph sessions, sponsor booths, music, food and fan games. Besides on-site activation opportunities, AT&T will also get advertising on television broadcasts, in-stadium signage and on digital platforms. The most important day in the Major League Soccer is Decision Day which is the last day of the season. All the 22 teams in the league play on that day all at the same time. There is thus potential for playoff drama which AT&T will also seek to capitalize on with its marketing activities.