Herbalife has reached an agreement with the Anschutz Entertainment Group, owner of Major League Soccer's Galaxy, to put its name across the Galaxy's jersey for this upcoming season. Executives pegged the five-year agreement at $25 million.
Beckham jersey a huge seller
The deal gives the direct-sales global nutrition company huge brand exposure. Mr. Beckham is generally considered the most popular soccer player in the world -- his January announcement that he would join the MLS after his Real Madrid contact is up in June both shocked and excited the U.S. soccer establishment -- and his jersey is a huge seller.
The MLS is the only U.S. sports league that sells sponsorship rights on uniforms.
"Without a doubt, this is a milestone event in American sports marketing," Shawn Hunter, President of AEG Sports and chief marketing officer of AEG, said in a statement. "With the tremendous amount of global exposure the Galaxy is expected to generate in the upcoming season, the time was clearly right for a professional league in the United States to create this branding platform."
Increased media exposure
The Herbalife name will appear in conjunction with the team name on all official team wear and replica jerseys, and other select team merchandise. The agreement also makes Herbalife the official sponsor of all international and exhibition games involving the Galaxy; provides it with increased media exposure, including television commercials and radio spots; exposure on the 110, 10, 405 and 91 freeways; a Web presence; and sponsorship of Los Angeles Galaxy grass roots and community programs.
"The national and international appeal of soccer, and of the Los Angeles Galaxy club in particular, is a natural fit for our global philosophy of promoting a healthy, active lifestyle," Herbalife CEO Michael O. Johnson said in a statement. "We have had tremendous success partnering with many AEG-owned properties in our effort to build our brand image and allow our independent distributors increased access to new customers."
The MLS season begins April 8. Mr. Beckham is expected to join the Galaxy in late July.