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Monday, July 22, 2024
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MLS Expands Playoffs As League Strikes Major Deals

  • MLS announced plans to expand its playoff on Tuesday.
  • The league has struck deals with Audi, Adidas, and RBC Wealth Management this week.
A player for the LAFC goes to strike the ball against a player for the Philadelphia Union during the 2022 MLS Cup Championship game.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a busy week for Major League Soccer.

Since Tuesday, MLS has announced plans to expand its playoffs and made deals with Audi, Adidas, and RBC Wealth Management.

The Audi MLS Cup Playoffs — which is named under Audi’s new deal extension — will add two more teams per conference for a total of nine each. The 2023 postseason will also add two single-elimination wild-card matches for a best-of-three series in the first round.

Audi will also remain the league’s official automotive partner and presenting sponsor of the MLS Golden Boot Award under the extension agreement, which is reportedly for three years and will “pay a multimillion-dollar fee annually,” according to Forbes.

This week, Adidas renewed its deal with the league, reportedly worth $830 million through 2030 — the company’s largest investment in North American soccer. Its current contract, which is valued at $700 million, was signed in 2017 and expires next year.

MLS also announced a multiyear deal with RBC Wealth Management on Tuesday.

The deals follow the league’s landmark broadcasting deal with Apple in June, which is worth at least $2.5 billion over 10 years.

Companies continue to invest in the league as its franchises prosper — since 2019, the average team value has increased 85% to $579 million, per Forbes.

The league added a 29th team — St. Louis City SC — for this season, which starts on Saturday, and hopes to announce a 30th team by the end of the year.

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