Atlanta United announced a major partnership today with American Family Insurance becoming the club's first jersey sponsor. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The video announcement also revealed that the team’s kit would be revealed in Fall 2016.
Jersey sponsorships are becoming an important revenue stream in Major League Soccer. In May, The Measurement Standard reported that the average MLS jersey sponsorship was being sold for $3M-$3.5M per year. With the increased exposure MLS teams are receiving now, especially through national and international television broadcasts, those numbers will only rise.
This is American Family Insurance's first jersey sponsorship in their history. They are a Fortune 500 company and an industry leader in property, health, and life insurance. They have been adding sports to their marketing portfolio in recent years, signing NFL and NBA stars as brand ambassadors and sponsoring major events.
In October of 2015, American Family Insurance was announced as one of fourteen founding partners of Mercedes Benz Stadium. That partnership will include a branded exterior fan zone that will allow American Family Insurance the opportunity to engage Atlanta United fans. Other elements of the partnership include joint promotions, branded radio segments, prominent signage, on-field contests, digital programming, and other advertising elements.
Giving back to the community is another shared element between American Family Insurance and Atlanta United. The insurance company's national advertising has featured athletes giving back. Atlanta United has been very active in the local community since being formed and this is only expected to increase through this partnership.
In May, Atlanta United announced that SunTrust signed on as a jersey sponsor for the club's Academy program. They are also a founding partner of Mercedes Benz Stadium. With MLS commercial guidelines limiting team marketing rights to a 75 mile radius, both sponsors will be building community ties and addressing local marketing needs.
With two nationally known businesses signing on to sponsor the club's jerseys before the first ball is kicked, it demonstrates the level of respect Atlanta United has already earned in the Atlanta business community.