USL to allow betting sponsorships on shirts

USL to allow betting sponsorships on shirts
The United Soccer League (USL) has modified its marketing rules to allows teams to sign shirt sponsorships with sports betting companies.

According to Front Office Sports, the change was approved and shared with the clubs this week, putting North American soccer’s secondary league body in line with Major League Soccer (MLS), the region’s top tier, which opened its shirt sponsorship category to betting brands in July. 

The updated marketing rules apparently allow USL clubs to sign deals with sports betting companies that have a valid license to offer sports betting with the specific team’s territory. Any potential new sponsor in that category can apparently only use data from league matches that are licensed by an official data distributor of the league, currently Opta.

The report also states that betting brands will also be permitted to use USL club marks in advertising, but only within the team’s territory, with online advertising primarily being targeted at those residents.

Jake Edwards, USL President, told Front Office Sports: "We want to be early movers in this space and it’s very important that our clubs have the flexibility to benefit economically from this category. We feel like it’s a dynamic that most soccer fans – whether domestic or international – are already accustomed to so we want to be as progressive as possible.”

USL clubs are forbidden from offering sports betting on their official websites or digital platforms. They are also not allowed to promote live odds or compensate their players based on any sports betting activity.

In addition, the USL office must approve any sports betting sponsor from operating inside a USL stadium, though this does not restrict fans attending games from using mobile betting apps.

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