online casinos, slots and the like may be on the rise every day, but there’s no denying that sports betting will always be one of the top ways to gamble online.
Sports act as a universal language, connecting people from around the world as they cheer on a single team.
One of the most popular sports which has this affect, is soccer. Football to some, soccer in the United States may not be the first sport that comes to mind, but the following is massive.
Major League Soccer (MLS) is by and large one of the largest US soccer leagues around. In an attempt to draw more interest to the sport and increase revenues, the MLS recently made a few changes regarding their advertising rules.
Welcoming Sports Betting Sponsors
In March of 2019, MLS announced that they would be partnering with MGM International. They announced that MGM would be the league’s first official gaming partner, which opened doors for other companies to step up to the plate too.
While previously prohibited, sports betting companies (and alcohol companies) are now welcome to sponsor any of the 24 clubs available.
Don Garber, MLS Commissioner, commented on sports betting as its power to build a brand, saying: “If people are going to do it, you might as well manage it, organize it. You might as well generate tax revenue for it and find ways that the league could use it as a marketing tool to have people engage more with our players and our clubs.”
The changes will be effective immediately, allowing a wide array of opportunities for sports betting companies that operate within the USA.
Companies can now also feature on team jerseys (something that is not often done in the United States) and will also include stadium naming rights.
While MLS hopes that these new sponsors will do a lot of good for both the clubs and the sport as a whole in the US, there are certain restrictions that must be upheld.
One of the main concerns for the MLS is that these sponsors do not advertise to inappropriate audiences. Players will also be restricted from appearing in sports betting ads and players under 21 years of age will not be allowed to appear in ads for alcohol.
In an attempt to make the advertising as responsible as possible, the MLS has requested that no replica jerseys for children be produced with sports betting or alcohol sponsors on them.
“We want to be viewed as a progressive league and provide our clubs with an appropriate level of flexibility,” said Carter Ladd, MLS Senior Vice President of Business Development. “We don’t want to be restrictive; we want to enable them in a positive way, and that’s why we’re taking this action… We strongly believe this is going to help drive new revenues.”