MLS ADDS FUJI FILM TO LIST OF OFFICIAL SPONSORS
MLS announced yesterday that Fuji Photo Film USA would be anofficial sponsor. The multi-year agreement includes filmcategory exclusivity on TV ads, on-field signage andincorporation into youth programs. Fujifilm will also be theuniform sponsor of the NY/NJ Metrostars (MLS). IT'S ALL ABOUT INTEGRATION: Jeff Jensen profiles MLS'marketing and business structure in the current issue ofADVERTISING AGE, calling it "innovative" and "a program thatshould secure the financial stability and promotional support"its predecessors lacked. Because MLS investors not only ownteams, but an interest in the league, player salaries shouldremain "sensible." Also, the structure will allow for"integrated marketing programs." For example, teams will be ableto sign local TV deals, but MLS sponsors will have "rights offirst refusal" on ad deals. Without TV timeouts, MLS will findways 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 areofficial corporate partners, at $500,000 apiece (AD AGE, 3/11issue). OTHER SOCCER SPONSOR NEWS: BP Petroleum has become aprinciple sponsor of the NPSL Cleveland Crunch. BP's deal withthe club will include a uniform and color change to BP's logo andcolors. The team will also incorporate a new slogan -- "Let'sRock" -- in the spirit of Cleveland's new Rock-n-Roll Hall ofFame (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 3/13).