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MLS ADDS FUJI FILM TO LIST OF OFFICIAL SPONSORS
Published March 14, 1996
MLS announced yesterday that Fuji Photo Film USA would be an official sponsor. The multi-year agreement includes film category exclusivity on TV ads, on-field signage and incorporation into youth programs. Fujifilm will also be the uniform sponsor of the NY/NJ Metrostars (MLS). IT'S ALL ABOUT INTEGRATION: Jeff Jensen profiles MLS' marketing and business structure in the current issue of ADVERTISING AGE, calling it "innovative" and "a program that should secure the financial stability and promotional support" its predecessors lacked. Because MLS investors not only own teams, but an interest in the league, player salaries should remain "sensible." Also, the structure will allow for "integrated marketing programs." For example, teams will be able to sign local TV deals, but MLS sponsors will have "rights of first refusal" on ad deals. Without TV timeouts, MLS will find ways for sponsor exposure through field boards and jersey logos. Official sponsors, such as AT&T and Budweiser (and now Fuji), signed on at $1M each. PepsiCo's All Sport and Kellogg are official corporate partners, at $500,000 apiece (AD AGE, 3/11 issue). OTHER SOCCER SPONSOR NEWS: BP Petroleum has become a principle sponsor of the NPSL Cleveland Crunch. BP's deal with the club will include a uniform and color change to BP's logo and colors. The team will also incorporate a new slogan -- "Let's Rock" -- in the spirit of Cleveland's new Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 3/13).