NASL N.Y. Cosmos' Three-Year, $3M Emirates Deal Considered A "Coup"
The NASL N.Y. Cosmos yesterday officially announced a deal with Emirates airline to become the club's jersey sponsor. The Fly Emirates logo will appear on the team's jersey fronts beginning with the '13 fall season, debuting in an Aug. 3 game against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Emirates will receive branding at Cosmos matches in and around Hofstra Univ.'s Shuart Stadium and online through the Cosmos' social and digital media channels. Emirates also will be the presenting sponsor of the team's soccer tournament, Cosmos Copa (Cosmos). In N.Y., Jack Bell notes the deal "is for three years and will pay the club about" $1M a year. Cosmos Chair Seamus O'Brien said that the club has "designs on building a privately financed 25,000-seat stadium and retail complex on the grounds" of Belmont Park and "expects to know the fate of its plan by the end of the current legislative session in Albany." Bell notes MLS "may have boxed in the Cosmos when two weeks ago it announced that" EPL club Manchester City and the Yankees "would be partners in the league’s 20th team," NYC FC. Bell asks, "Is there a place in the New York area for three soccer teams?" O'Brien said of New York City FC, "They have a year to get up and running. ... We think the soccer economics of this city will be able to support three teams." NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson said that the league "planned to expand from its current eight teams to 18 teams, perhaps" by '15. The league "will add Indianapolis, Ottawa and Virginia for the spring/summer season" in '14 (N.Y. TIMES, 6/5).
STILL STARS: On Long Island, Neil Best writes the Cosmos "owe their existence in very large part to a brand that remains powerful around the world, even after all these years." Honorary team President Pele said, "It's amazing. ... I arrive in China, I arrive in Africa and they say, 'Listen, what happened to the New York Cosmos?'" (NEWSDAY, 6/5). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jonathan Clegg writes the Cosmos' "glitzy ceremony" yesterday "showed this team can still make a splash." The deal "represents a coup for the Cosmos." The team "will join European powerhouses AC Milan, Arsenal and Real Madrid in sporting the Emirates logo on its jerseys" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/5). The AP's Ronald Blum noted USSF President Sunil Gulati during the press conference "watched from a front-row seat," while there was a poster of former Cosmos player Franz Beckenbauer with a headline, "Don't Call It A Comeback" (AP, 6/4).