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MLS at a Loss

Honda has apparently decided to end its sponsorship with MLS after 12 seasons. According to a document obtained by The Washington Post, the auto company cited a "changing competitive landscape and shifts in marketing strategy." The contract between Honda and MLS expires in December. Sponsors come and go, so this is not unusual. MLS officials are planning to meet with Honda next week and are in discussions with at least two other potential auto sponsors.

By Steve Goff  |  June 21, 2007; 4:31 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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i wonder if it has to do with toyota park? despite claims to the contrary. the league is getting a higher profile now, seems a strange time to bail.

Posted by: dashiel | June 21, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I need a new car anyway.

I wonder which type I'll be swayed to purchase.

Posted by: Wow | June 21, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Disappointing, but hardly devastating. The league has a good stable of corporate sponsors. I wouldn't lose too much sleep.

The headline was a bit dramatic, eh?

Posted by: J | June 21, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Disappointing, but hardly devastating. The league has a good stable of corporate sponsors. I wouldn't lose too much sleep.

The headline was a bit dramatic, eh?

Posted by: J | June 21, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I hear RJ Reynolds and Winston has been looking to title sponsor a sport for a few years now. Especially after they got kicked out of that circle racing thing.

(No, I'm not serious).

Posted by: James | June 21, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Dashiel, can't agree more unless they feel they were not getting enough out of their investment or that MLS was asking too much up front for the next round of advertisement.

Posted by: Felix | June 21, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

what about copa america goff? who will get called up from dc?

Posted by: dc | June 21, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

C'mon NISSAN!!!!

Posted by: Keenan | June 21, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

how about Eastern Motors?

They can get LD, Beckham, Blanco and Angel to sing, "Where your job is your credit."

Or they can get Emilino to say it in 4 languages!

Posted by: gousmnt | June 21, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

You should really reword your title to "HONDA at a Loss" :)

Posted by: shirteesdotnet | June 21, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

haha i would love to see emilio in an eastern motors commercial!

Posted by: pat | June 21, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Then no Accord for me!!!

Posted by: 12th man | June 21, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Did y'all know that Eastern Motors is in Baltimore? I was driving on I-95 in Baltimore, and saw one of their billboard ads with Ray Lewis from the Ravens.

Posted by: Bill in Md. | June 21, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe that I have to read (poetntially bad) news about the stadium on the front page of instead of here -- my world has turned upside down!

Posted by: argo0 | June 21, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

eastern motors - exploiting the poor.
on the subject of mls sponsors - just went to radio shack (another mls sponsor) and wakled out without purchasing anything. they wanted $20 for a cable I can get for $2 elsewhere. oh well, I try to support the mls sponsors when feasible.
goff, has there been any indication of how happy the current batch of shirt sponsors are - and how effective the relationship has been for building the companies' brand?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 21, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Dammit! First Master Card and now Honda. My patronage must really be the curse of MLS sponsors. I'd better get rid of my Adidas stuff.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | June 21, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse


I really have no idea whatsoever if this will stop the stadium because the funding is not 100% clear. I was under the impression the city foots very little of the bill and instead grants the right to use the land and makes infrastructure improvements that they might have made anyway. We need the plan first.

Posted by: bluemeanies | June 21, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

My memory is that the D.C. United stadium was to be PRIVATELY funded... Am I wrong or is Natwar M. Gandhi wrong, Goff?

Posted by: SoyManya! | June 21, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Gandhi also recommended that DC residents weave their own cotton garments and make their own salt from Chesapeake Bay water as passive resistance measures against the British government.

Oops. My bad, wrong Gandhi.

Posted by: FC Satyagraha | June 21, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Bring back Beetleborgs!

Posted by: Dave Lifton | June 21, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

If United privately finances the stadium based on the development potential of the rest of Poplar Point, it would limit DC's debt exposure. This actually argues for giving the whole plot to one developer.

Posted by: Mount Pleasanter | June 21, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Why not a betting (oops, gaming) company? It seems like every other team/league is sponsored by one nowadays.

Posted by: Howard Hamilton | June 21, 2007 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I can't say I'm surprised. The press conference to announce the Blanco signing included a jersey held up with the Honda logo and an advertising board behind with the Toyota logo plastered all over it. It was confusing.

If I were Honda, I would have bailed at the first available opportunity too.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 21, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse

maybe the new sponsors will be monster energy drinks and then red bull would bail on the metros

Posted by: ngu | June 22, 2007 12:41 AM | Report abuse

A natural sponsor - "Head On: Apply directly to the forehead." Then show Frankie Hejduk heading the ball straight up in the air, just like in games.

Posted by: Joe Doc | June 22, 2007 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Screw Honda,

and you Jap lovers.

Its time to put a solid American company on there. GM or Ford or Chrysler.

Posted by: Stevedm | June 22, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

racist language is exactly what we don't need on this blog. We're United, remember.

Posted by: marc | June 22, 2007 10:36 AM | Report abuse

My Honda was made in America, my girlfriends Ford was made in Canada and I believe Honda paid something like 3x more in US taxes than ford did last year.

I'm not sure who is a "Jap lover" but maybe Stevedm can help me out.

Anyway, it didn't make a whole lot of sense having two car sponsors involved with one team and if Honda didn't know about Toyota sponsorship of the park beforehand signing their contract they did get kind of screwed by MLS (Chicago Fire).

Again, Peter Wilt wouldn't have let this happen.

Posted by: Southeasterner | June 22, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

There's also the fact that America can't make a decent car. I say this as a former Chevy/Olds salesman.

More importantly, when will writers not named Stephen Goff learn that United's new stadium would be privately financed?

Posted by: AlecW81 | June 22, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

The expressions "solid" and "American car" cannot be used in the same sentence.

After 30 years of driving, time and again I got burned whenever I bought an American car.

Toyota and Honda are untouchable.

Posted by: DC fan | June 24, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

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