With the first game of the MLS is Back tournament, MLS introduced a number of new virtual broadcast branding opportunities for league and team sponsors. The one that caught everyone’s eye first was the Adidas branding at the center of the pitch. After tracking this logo for the first two games of the tournament, Navigate uncovered some insights on just how impactful this digital integration was, and will continue to be, throughout the tournament.
We tracked at least 18 minutes of prominent exposure throughout the 90-minute game (on screen for 1/5th of the broadcast). This equates to over 15 hours or 918 minutes of Adidas logo exposure throughout the 51-game tournament (taking into account the departure of FC Dallas and Nashville SC).
We estimate the Fair Market Value (FMV) of this logo to be roughly $75K-$100K per game depending on a reasonable range of ratings. For the tournament this would amount to between $3.8M - $5.1M.
It goes without saying that the league is doing everything they can to recover sponsorship value in this tournament. To MLS’s credit, the virtual integration of their partners and the rotating team partners was largely applauded. If MLS is looking to make good on lost value to its largest partners, this is a great way to do it. The league also allowed teams to place existing partners on the sleeves of their jerseys which will be a large boost to the brand exposure, specifically those missing out on naming rights value for this tournament.
The implications of this for sports in months to come could be greater than we might expect. Who is to say this stops once regular season games resume, and if the center circle logo goes away, will other smaller areas take its place with rotating capabilities? Virtual logo integration could be a marquee asset for regional broadcasts in which teams would now have the ability to rotate partners on prominent on field positions and deliver higher TV exposure. The virtual logo integration is not anything new to sports, but the jolt from COIVD has brought technological advancements to center stage, some of which will continue once fans are back in seats.