Here are the five things we learned from the 2017 MLS All-Star game, as Real Madrid beat the MLS All-Stars on penalties in Chicago.
1. Adidas Pays Up
The big news at the All-Star game had nothing to do with the game itself. It was the announcement that Adidas has agreed to a new six-year, $700 million deal to continue as MLS’s official apparel supplier.
The numbers are eye-popping. Under the terms of this new agreement, Adidas will pay MLS $117 million per year. Adidas had been paying the league just $25 million per year since 2010.
So while MLS isn’t getting Real Madrid money, this deal is still impressive. Adidas’ deal, beginning this year, with the NHL? It’s for just $70 million per year for the next seven years.
The NBA is set to make just $130 million from Nike this year – and it’s worth keeping in mind that both the NBA and the NHL have 30 teams while MLS currently has just 23.
It’s a sign of the times. MLS continues to make financial inroads into the upper echelon of the American sporting landscape – and the growth of the league’s financial resources will be seen on the field. Another increase in TAM is coming for next season.
Don Garber called the announcement of the new Adidas deal a “seminal moment” for the league. He’s not wrong. On the apparel front at least, MLS has stepped firmly into the big leagues.
2. Miami Draws Close
The long odyssey to bring Major League Soccer back to Miami may finally be drawing to a close.
Garber said Wednesday that he is negotiating directly with Todd Boehly, who is set to become the majority owner of the club, on the final details of the deal – which could be announced by September 1st.
David Beckham, whose name has been associated with this project for so long, presented to MLS owners on Wednesday as well – and was complimented by Garber as “passionate, articulate, and focused.”
For the first time in years, the Miami bid is in a strong spot. Boehly, who is part of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ownership group, has serious money. Tim Leiweke, who has run both the LA Galaxy and Toronto FC, in onboard as well. A stadium site has been identified in Overtown on the city’s west side.