By Barry Janoff
January 8, 2015: Calling it the largest sports partnership and the first league partnership in company history, AdvoCare has signed a multi-year deal with Major League Soccer, which includes positioning as the official sports nutrition partner and its AdvoCare Rehydrate as the official sports drink of MLS.
Financial terms of the alliance, which runs through 2019, were not disclosed.
Plano, Texas-based AdvoCare said the pact was strategic in its effort to established itself "as a leader in the sports nutrition space" and to "share the AdvoCare vision of physical wellness with dedicated soccer fans across the nation."
AdvoCare already has endorsement deals with several high-profile athletes, such as NFL quarterbacks Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints), Philip Rivers (San Diego Chargers) and Nick Foles (Philadelphia Eagles); golfers including David Toms, Brett Quigley and Lee Janzen; players and coaches in MLB, NHL, soccer, volleyball, weightlifting and softball; as well as Nascar's Roush Fenway Racing.
AdvoCare said that beginning with the 2015 season, MLS' 20th campaign, it would have presence with all 20 MLS clubs and that it would sign "individual MLS club partnerships that will integrate AdvoCare products into teams’ locker rooms and development teams."
The alliance will include multi-platform activation using the company's tag, "We Build Champions," with an intro spot that broke to unveil the deal that focuses on AdvoCare's strategy and is interspersed with MLS action. (See the spot here.)
The MLS pact builds on AdvoCare's partnership with FC Dallas, where it has been the club's jersey-front sponsor since 2012. This past October, the company extended its deal with FC Dallas through 2020, which includes continuation of its jersey deal, multi-media marketing anchored by presence in Toyota Stadium and Toyota Soccer Center, and the AdvoCare logo on FC Dallas Academy and youth jerseys.
AdvoCare's alliances closer to home also include a deal with Jason Witten, tight end for the NFL's Dallas Cowboys; and title sponsorship of the Texas Bowl, Cowboys Classic and Texas Kickoff.
"We are proud to be the official sports nutrition partner of Major League Soccer," Richard Wright, president and CEO for AdvoCare, said in a statement. "This is an incredible opportunity to share the AdvoCare vision of physical wellness with dedicated soccer fans across the nation. Soccer is a rapidly growing sport in North America and our partnership with MLS makes perfect sense as we continue to grow together.”
AdvoCare said that a key part of the MLS deal was "building relationships at the local club level [to] bring the AdvoCare name to soccer fields across the country, as well as into millions of homes as fans tune in to watch each season."
According to Gary Stevenson, president and managing director for MLS Business Ventures, "AdvoCare is a dynamic growth company that is excited about becoming an active partner of Major League Soccer. We took notice of the successful partnership that AdvoCare has developed with FC Dallas and we look forward to that happening at the League level and with a number of our clubs.”
With the 2015 season scheduled to begin the weekend of March 6-8, MLS national partners currently include adidas, AdvoCare, Allstate, AT&T, Chipotle, Continental Tire, EA Sports, Etihad, Heineken, The Home Depot, Jeld-Wen, Kraft, Makita, Microsoft (Windows, Xbox), Panasonic, Red Bull, Visa and Wells Fargo.