The IMG agency has agreed a deal to market and distribute the global media rights to Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer properties for the next eight years.
The contract, from 2015 to 2022, includes MLS and US men’s and women’s national team matches played on American soil; as well as qualifying games for two Fifa World Cup cycles. It excludes media rights within the US and Canada.
IMG will market the rights across all platforms including digital and gaming. The deal was completed between IMG and Soccer United Marketing, which represents MLS and U.S. Soccer’s commercial rights.
“As Major League Soccer approaches its 20th season, the worldwide interest in the league is at an all-time high and growing dramatically,” Gary Stevenson, president and managing director of MLS Business Ventures, said. “With two new expansion clubs in New York and Orlando, global stars like David Villa, Frank Lampard and Kaka set to join the league, and players representing almost 60 countries, 2015 will be an exciting year for MLS. IMG’s expertise and unique position in the global marketplace make them the right partner for us and together we’ll grow the league’s global footprint.”
Ioris Francini, president of IMG Events and Media, added: “Football in the U.S. is very much on an upward curve following the US men’s national team’s excellent showing in the World Cup in Brazil and the continued expansion and development of MLS. MLS is experiencing vast growth in attendance, investment, stadia infrastructure, TV audience and domestic and international player transfers. This is unlike any other league today.
“Over 20 players were called up for their national teams in the World Cup and more and more top players from European clubs are making the move across the Atlantic. We see great potential for the growth of coverage and awareness of both MLS and the US national teams.”