One of the most visible commercial spaces in all of sport is the front of the jersey. For years soccer clubs around the world have sold the space for a hefty amount. The idea is currently under advisement by NFL (which allows sponsors on practice jersey’s) and the NBA. But what happens when there are now buyers?
This is a question that the MLS has had to deal with ever since they allowed sponsors to buy the coveted space. Outside of the New York Red Bulls (which is officially called Red Bull New York) all but three clubs have sponsors on the front of their jersey’s. Funny thing is that two of those clubs are the top two clubs in the league (San Jose and Sporting KC). With three spots available why doesn’t the league, or the clubs, donate that space to charity?
There are plenty of worthy charities out that that would appreciate the exposure and the league along with the clubs could use the opportunity to enhance their stature in the country and the local community. There wouldn’t be much complaining among fans about seeing the Wounded Warrior Project or Big Brothers/ Big Sisters on the front of San Jose’s jersey. MLS could even place their own community works projects on the jersey’s.
Yes you could get into some political hot water if say the Sierra Club or the NRA wanted the space. That could hurt a league still fighting for relevancy in the US sports landscape but the up side of placing MDA on the front of a jersey or Action Against Hunger could do wonders for that club and the goodwill could help the MLS.
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