SBD/March 5, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

MLS Looks To Capitalize On FIFA World Cup With New "For Club And Country" Campaign

MLS CMO Howard Handler said that with the start of the '14 FIFA World Cup "less than 100 days away, MLS will break a new campaign this week themed 'MLS: For Club and Country,'" according to Michael McCarthy of AD AGE. The effort "touts the start of the league's season on March 8." He added that the campaign will "hammer home the theme that soccer fans can watch many of the American and international stars of this summer's World Cup ... at MLS games this spring." A new print ad "featuring MLS stars will declare: 'March to Brazil. It all starts here. MLS. For Club and Country.'" There will be "a billboard in Times Square," and "a heavy dose of digital advertising on MLSSoccer.com and YouTube, plus sports sites such as SB Nation and Bleacher Report." Across social media channels, the league "will employ the hashtag: #ItAllStartsHere." The campaign "was created in-house." Meanwhile, the league is "picking up new corporate sponsors for the season." MLS is "expected to announce a sponsorship deal later this week with Kraft Beverages, which markets brands such as Capri Sun, Kool-Aid, Country Time Lemonade and Tang." Under the deal, Kraft will "become the official juice drink and powdered beverage of MLS." MLS and Chipotle Mexican Grill on Monday announced that "Chipotle has become the official fast-casual Mexican restaurant of MLS and a dozen MLS Clubs" (ADAGE.com, 3/5).
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