MLS sponsorship opens to gaming companies

Major League Soccer (MLS) has become the first USA professional major sports league to allow for sponsorships from sports betting and liquor companies.

Commissioner of America’s top flight football league, Dean Garber, has been advocating partnerships between professional football and betting companies. The new ruling allows for sponsorship patches on players’ shirts and stadium naming rights, from sports betting companies.

This means these types of businesses can now name any of the 24 stadiums in the MLS, or have their brand logo placed on players’ uniforms.

The new policy will come into immediate effect, having been approved on Wednesday. It is expected that the initiative could be followed by the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and/or the National Hockey League.

MLS teams can now also offer sports betting venues within their stadiums, with licensed operators, provided gambling is allowed by local and state law.

However, no MLS player will be allowed to appear in sports betting ads or marketing materials.