Target Announces Major Push into Soccer in the U.S.; Becomes Official Partner of Major League Soccer and Minnesota United FC
MINNEAPOLIS – January 19, 2017 – Retailer to be featured as primary jersey sponsor for MLS expansion club; supports several youth soccer organizations
Today, Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) announced a series of national, local and charitable initiatives that mark the retailer’s largest-ever push into team sports. The move will immediately position the company as one of the country’s largest supporters of soccer.
“There are so many things that drew us to soccer—it’s multicultural, watched and played by families and is growing immensely in popularity,” said Rick Gomez, senior vice president, Marketing, Target. “We’ve partnered with several incredible organizations and vendors to invite soccer fans everywhere to engage with the Target brand in new ways.”
OFFICIAL PARTNER OF MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Target will become an Official Partner of Major League Soccer in a multi-year deal that includes airtime during MLS broadcasts on Univision, FOX Sports and ESPN, opportunities for in-stadium experiences, player appearances and ownership of certain major MLS platforms, which will be unveiled at a later date.
“We’re excited to welcome Target to the soccer family,” said Kathy Carter, president, Soccer United Marketing, MLS’ commercial arm. “It’s great to see such a holistic approach being taken—from the professional ranks to the youth level. It’s also ideal timing as Target’s hometown club, Minnesota United FC, joins Major League Soccer this year. We look forward to working together for many years to come.”
OFFICIAL PARTNER AND JERSEY SPONSOR OF MINNESOTA UNITED FC
In addition to the national MLS sponsorship, Target will prominently extend its involvement to its Twin Cities hometown. Target will become an Official Partner of Minnesota United FC and the team’s official jersey sponsor, which will put the Target bullseye logo prominently on the team’s official jersey. The jersey will be revealed in late February. The deal also includes on-field branding and events.
“We are proud to announce that Target, a great Minnesota-based company, will be Minnesota United’s first MLS kit sponsor. Target believes they have a role to play in fueling the potential of soccer and soccer players at all levels in Minnesota and the entire club is thrilled to have them as a partner,” said Nick Rogers, president, Minnesota United FC. “I can’t wait to see our players and fans proudly displaying the iconic Target bullseye across their chests. Together, Target and Minnesota United will represent the state of Minnesota in our global game.”
COMMITMENT TO YOUTH SOCCER
Finally, Target is also committing to further youth soccer’s considerable U.S. growth through financial support of both US Youth Soccer and the U.S. Soccer Foundation. Target is partnering with US Youth Soccer, a leader among youth-sports organizations in the country. US Youth Soccer features more than three million players between the ages of five and 19, along with 900,000 coaches, volunteers and administrators. Target will become the Official Retailer of US Youth Soccer, an Official Partner and the presenting sponsor of the Target United Cup – the largest recreational soccer tournament in the country that will visit 30 to 40 cities. The Target brand will also be featured prominently within several other US Youth Soccer program, including digital media integrations and event activations.
“Youth soccer is all about creating memories and serving youth athletes and their families,” said Christopher Moore, CEO of US Youth Soccer. “We’re extremely proud to be a part of such a landmark partnership with Target, whose strong brand and unwavering commitment to uniting communities will create more unforgettable memories for the millions of players, parents, coaches, referees and volunteers who contribute to the game of soccer at the youth level.”
Additionally, Target provided a $75,000 grant to the U.S. Soccer Foundation to support national expansion of the organization’s Soccer for Success program, which is a free after-school program that is proven to help kids establish healthy habits and develop critical life skills through caring coach-mentors and family engagement.
Target will partner with a number of its leading vendors on the push into soccer, including Belkin, Crest, Degree, Dove, Energizer, GE, Gillette, GSK, Hershey’s, Kimberly-Clark, Philips, Scotch-Brite, Smuckers, Tide and Venus.
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,803 stores and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit to communities, which today equals more than $4 million a week.