Friday, 22 September, 2017

Adidas breaks records with six-year, $700m MLS sponsorship renewal

Major League Soccer and adidas extend landmark partnership through 2024 Beckham Miami bid 'at the finish line', MLS Commissioner says
Theresa Hayes | 04 August, 2017, 01:34

Adidas North America president, Mark King, said: "Sport is the epicentre of our culture and in the United States and Canada soccer is the most popular sport for young people to play".

Former England, Manchester United and Real Madrid star Beckham met with MLS owners in Chicago, where a vote on Wednesday authorised Garber to move forward in finalising Miami's entrance to the league in 2020. Garber said he was not concerned that more stadium plans would stumble.

Sacramento has always been considered one of the front-runners for expansion, with an advanced stadium plan, a deep-pocketed ownership group and an already large and loyal fan base following Republic FC in the second-division United Soccer League.

MLS owners are meeting in Chicago on Wednesday morning as part of All-Star Week, and Beckham's expansion bid is on the agenda. "But we're getting really, really, really close".

Beckham raised the profile of MLS when he joined Los Angeles Galaxy as a player in 2007 and led the team to two MLS Cup titles during his six seasons. He announced Miami as his intended site in February 2014 and since then, has struggled to nail down a stadium site and a partner with the wealth required to be the majority owner.

Miami isn't a Major League Soccer city yet, but it's a lot closer than it was two days ago.

The Beckham group still must persuade the Miami City Commission to endorse its stadium plan, as well as sell it some city land sought near the two-block site at the intersection of Northwest Eighth Street and Sixth Avenue.

According to The Miami Herald, Beckham, Boehly and their partners recently purchased a three-acre parcel for $9 million and now hold nine acres in total.

"First and foremost is league approval", Leiweke said.

Prior to the meeting, it was thought that the vote would be the final approval for Beckham's group. The hard work appears done.

"I had some concerns they wouldn't get past today", he said in a press conference. "[But] we believe the time is right finally for Miami to be a great Major League Soccer city".

"We're not announcing MLS Miami today", said Garber, "but I am confident we'll be able to do that, perhaps by the end of the summer".

"Sacramento putting a shovel in the ground this week was a great move on their part", he said.

Republic FC Chairman and CEO Kevin Nagle said "the path to MLS has never been more clear".

The new deal is Adidas' largest-ever investment in North American soccer and comes at a time when the MLS is enjoying strong growth in TV ratings, attendance and merchandise sales, as well as growing interest among prospective franchise owners. "It's time to bring it home and deliver the MLS team our fans and community deserve". Now we're one foot closer to it, but not quite over it.

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