Commentary

'Time is right' for Wells Fargo to sponsor MLS

By Paul Kennedy

Major League Soccer has landed Wells Fargo as a sponsor, making MLS the first league with which the San Francisco-based bank has struck a national sponsorship deal.

Under the terms of the multi-year sponsorship deal, Wells Fargo will get field boards during nationally televised MLS broadcasts as well as advertise with MLS's national broadcast partners and MLS Digital Properties. It will also the co-presenting partner of MLS Futbolito, MLS’s 4v4 amateur tournaments, and presenting partner of the MLS WORKS Community MVP award, given to individuals who go above and beyond to make a difference in their community.

“With our coast-to-coast presence,"said Jamie Moldafsky, Wells Fargo Chief Marketing Officer, "the time is right for Wells Fargo to invest in a national sports marketing sponsorship that allows us a unique and ownable platform for engaging new and existing customers, increasing our overall brand consideration and continuing to support community initiatives in the markets where we have customers and team members. Soccer is a growing sport in the U.S., with a dedicated and passionate fan base, and Wells Fargo is proud to join fans across the country in our support of MLS and the sport of soccer.”

HENRY SCORES FOR GRASSROOT SOCCER. Thierry Henry has teamed up with Grassroot Soccer and Goldman Sachs Gives to launch the "Thierry Henry Challenge" that will contribute $5,000 to Grassroot Soccer each time Henry scores a goal and $2,500 each time he makes an assist for the New York Red Bulls during the 2013 MLS season, up to an amount of $150,000.

Grassroot Soccer is a non-profit organization founded in 2002 that uses the power of soccer to educate youth and inspire and empower communities to stop the spread of HIV. Its flagship programs are in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“Thierry Henry is not only a soccer star but a great role model for young people around the world," said Gregg Lemkau, a Goldman Sachs managing director and GRS Global board member. "Goldman Sachs Gives and GRS are excited to turn his skills on the field into tangible life skills for young people.”

COSMOS ON SNY. SNY -- the official TV home of the New York Mets and Jets -- will air all seven New York Cosmos home games for the 2013 NASL fall season. The Cosmos' on-air team will feature play-by-play announcer JP Dellacamera and Janusz Michallik as the color analyst. Coverage will begin on Saturday when the Cosmos kick off their first season against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium.

SNY will also showcase five episodes of “Cosmos Classics,” the newly minted series that looks back at some of the most memorable games in club history. “Cosmos Classics” will make its debut Aug. 11 at 9 pm ET on SNY with a 1976 match against the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Also ...

-- The hosts of ESPN FC, the new soccer news show that will debut Aug. 11 on ESPN2, will be ESPN FC Press Pass host Dan Thomas, formerly with Real Madrid FC television, and SportsCenter anchor Max Bretos. A rotation of 23 soccer pundits and contributors will be regularly featured.
 
-- NBC Sports has launched several unique promos for its EPL coverage, decking out New York's Subway Shuttle Line in the colors of EPL clubs and creating video segments with comedian Jason Sudeikis.

-- Gild Edge Soccer Marketing has launched its new web site.
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