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New Jersey in Los Angeles?

Citibank's efforts to acquire the sponsorship rights for the Los Angeles Galaxy's jersey for an estimated $49 million over five years have come to an end without a deal, sources told me today. Maybe one of the issues was that banking rival Chase is a league sponsor? Hmmm.

Whatever the reasons, there will not be a "Citibank" label across the front of Beckham's uniform this summer.

Herbalife, the nutrition and weight-management company, was also in the running, according to reports last month in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

D.C. United seems to be taking its time in search of a potential jersey sponsor. Perhaps they are waiting to see what kind of deal the Galaxy will cut before they go into serious negotiations. It's still possible they'll get one at some point this season, but maybe next year is more realistic.

By Steve Goff  |  March 20, 2007; 5:50 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: World Cup Flashback


I'd imagine United will want to wait till next year for the redesign of the kit. The current one would look very awkward with a logo plastered across the chest.

Posted by: AlecW81 | March 20, 2007 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Ummm how this sponsor:'s Soccer Insider.

I think the font will have to be pretty small to fit but think of the exposure.

Posted by: Rocko | March 20, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Goff | March 20, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

It would be very interesting if the competition with Chase was the undoing of this deal. If that is the case (and not the money) then it's very encouraging for MLS' stability that a sponsor is willing to pay $5M/year to an MLS team, albeit a big market one with a big star. Would MLS get the $ or does it go to the team?

Posted by: I-270 Exit 1 | March 20, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

It should be "Goff's Soccer Insider."

All hail Goff.

Posted by: JMR | March 20, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I certainly hope that--if Chase Bank put the brakes on Citibank's $49 million bid to sponsor the Galaxy's kit--MLS can find a way to make Chase pony up extra dinero as the official league bank to make up for lost revenue. I'm not sure if it's even relevant knowing how local sponsorship proceeds are split between owner/operators and the league. Fact is: brand Beckham was signed to put butts in seats and sponsorship cash in the bank. If league sponsors prevent new WILLING money, maybe they should pay a little premium for the exclusive extra exposure. Wait....maybe Citibank is really just excited about the new Galaxy uniforms?

Posted by: DMW | March 20, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if the same thing that happened with the DP slot will happen with shirt sponsors? ie: wait for the Galaxy to set the bar incredibly high because of their unique situation and then try to get sponsors to pay a similar figure to the Galaxy's deal. The shirt sponsorship opportunities, like the dp, will then be underutilized.

some ideas for DC: Budweiser, Verizon, Honda, PWC, the CIA, the World Bank, the DC Sports Bog,

Posted by: Diego R. | March 20, 2007 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Not to sound like too huge of a jerk off, but the deal the Galaxy get and the deal United get are apples and oranges. Galaxy has a star the ENTIRE world will be watching, United doesn't have anything close. I am guessing more teams will be closer to RSL $500K per year than the reported $10M per of the Galaxy.
Chicago is the #3 media market and I would honestly be surprised to see the sponsorship dollars to exceed $2-3M at best.

P.S. I-270, the Galaxy deal was for $10M per year not $5M. Also, the league get's the first $200K of sponsorship money per year. Not sure if that is in addition to the annual capital call or if it reduces that figure.

Posted by: papa bear | March 20, 2007 7:44 PM | Report abuse

The World Bank as DCU's shirt sponsor? Genius! Maybe they could get a IMF/World Bank sponsorship and then sell scores of tickets to protestors. DCU is popular in foreign stadiums already and with those sponsors they could guarantee riots at every visit - think of all the free publicity!

Posted by: noptov52 | March 20, 2007 7:48 PM | Report abuse

rep to JMR! I'll chip in a dollar for "Goff's Soccer Insider."

Posted by: Coach.Doug | March 20, 2007 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight, LA came close to getting something big, but screwed it up at the end

To quote Goff, "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz."

Posted by: Dave Lifton | March 20, 2007 8:32 PM | Report abuse

If Chase is the league sponsor and the league basically runs all teams ... then of course it can't allow it's now most famous team to be a sponsor for the Galaxy. What the MLS needs to now recognize is simple: forget trying to run everything! What is to blame here is the MLS single-run operation. Unless that comes to an end .... this league will always be second rate and eventually fold.

Posted by: Jeff | March 20, 2007 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Didn't everyone have Mastercard on their jerseys the first year or two, or was that only DCU?

Posted by: Rocko | March 20, 2007 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Until they make a decision, how about "Your Ad Here"

Posted by: Joe Doc | March 20, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse

MLS proves its complete incompetance once again...

Posted by: Minor League Suckage | March 20, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

The single owner structure has ensured stability that leagues like NASL never had. It will eventually come to an end when the time is right. It just may not be this year.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 20, 2007 10:16 PM | Report abuse

EL Pollo Loco - we could even change the mascot!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 20, 2007 11:10 PM | Report abuse

All things that are currently being said leads me to believe that I may not buy another Galaxy jersey for a long time. If HerbaLife is the sponsor in the end, I will not buy one till that contract is up.

If someone else is the sponsor but they actually wait till Beckham arrives to release the new jersey it'll be a few years before I buy one.

I mean seriously if you're going to sell ads on the jerseys and will remain a single entity league then you shouldn't have "official league sponsors" I very much doubt Chase pays anywhere near the amount CitiBank was going to pay.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 21, 2007 12:02 AM | Report abuse

I still like "Taxation Without Representation" as the sponsor.

Posted by: Mayor Fenty | March 21, 2007 5:16 AM | Report abuse

How about this sponsor --

"Listen to 'Steve Goff on Soccer', 3-6pm Monday through Friday on Washington Post Radio"

Posted by: Ron | March 21, 2007 6:24 AM | Report abuse

hmmm at least it's not as bad as having Honda sponsor a team in Toyota Park :-)

MLS is getting good at this sponsorship stuff.

Posted by: Southeasterner | March 21, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Personally I'd love for Halliburton to sponsor DCU and have their name/logo slapped across the front of the jersey.

Posted by: Chief Clancy Wiggum | March 21, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

noptov52: Brilliant idea, that World Bank. DC could even hire Hugo Chavez as spokesman/riot instigator.

"Thousands of protestors blocked traffic on the Key Bridge and rioted today in response to DC United's globalization of soccer by hiring Brazilians, Argentines, and a Bolivian."

Posted by: I-270 Exit 1 | March 21, 2007 9:46 AM | Report abuse

ownership needs to go to the teams, or the league will not get past a certain point with new owners trying new things and investors interested in setting up clubs without having the league control

Posted by: Anonymous | March 21, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

The tag "The official ______ of the league" exists everywhere, in all US leagues. The NFL stops teams from accepting sponsors locally if it violates one of their national league sponsor's agreements as well - it has nothing to do with how bush league MLS is or isn't and it surely has nothing to do with single entity.
The one thing I will say is that the new jersey sponsorship rules should have been ironed out with all the "league" sponsors and the teams beforehand. My guess is that it was, but LA chose to ignore the rules and figured if they had a multi-million $$ contract, the league would turn a blind eye to the sponsor violation. If so, good for MLS for enforcing their own rules with regard to LA for once.
At least it isn't as bad as NASCAR (which I love, btw) sponsorship troubles lately (Nextel vs. Cingular vs. AT&T vs Motorola)

Posted by: Lonnie | March 21, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

1) DC UNITED, brought to you by GUINNESS
2) Chicago Fire, brought to you by Preparation H
3) LA Galaxy, brought to you by Hair Club for Men
4) NY, brought to you by Maxi Pad

Posted by: delantero | March 21, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Guinness sponsoring DC United jerseys? Brilliant!

Especially if we can get some black and tan action in the beer stands at the new stadium which exists only in our dreams.

Posted by: Shmoo | March 21, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Please note that RSL's deal is between $4 and $5 million for a 4 year deal. No where near what LAG was asking, but as of this morning, LAG doesn't have a sponsor. It will be interesting to see if teams were waiting for LAG to finalize their deal to set a precedence or if they just can't find sponsors.

Posted by: Keith | March 21, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I like the old shirts that t-shirt shops used to print back in the 70's that said "we print anything"

Posted by: garbaggio | March 22, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

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