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Volume 26 No. 207
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Captain Morgan Signs First Major League Sponsorship With MLS

Diageo's Captain Morgan has signed a sponsorship deal with MLS through '22, marking the first time that the rum brand "will be a national partner with a major sports league," according to Chris Smith of FORBES. The agreement includes sponsorship of the MLS All-Star Game, Campeones Cup and MLS Cup, along with club-specific deals with DC United, Fire, NYC FC, Sounders and Union. Diageo Senior VP/Rum, Tequila & Gin Christina Choi indicated that the company will "look to add more team deals for the 2020 season." Choi said, "This is really going to be our biggest and most integrated sports sponsorship." Financial terms of the deal were unknown, but Smith cites a source as saying that "between the league and team partnerships, Diageo is making an eight-figure commitment across the term of the deal." The brand will begin activating the deal at this year's All-Star Game, which will take place July 31 in Orlando. Plans include the "expected trappings, like in-stadium signage and a national TV ad campaign." Additionally, Captain Morgan reps will be outside Exploria Stadium "handing out tickets to fans with the name Morgan -- first, last or middle -- on a first-come, first-serve basis." Morgans that already have tickets "will be upgraded." The agreement comes two weeks after MLS announced plans to let teams partner with liquor and gambling companies on jersey sponsorships (FORBES.com, 7/9).