Energy drinks brand Celsius has become the partner in that category for North America’s top-tier Major League Soccer as part of a deal running through the 2026 season.
As the presenting partner of extra time for both the first and second halves, Celsius will gain pitchside branding on LED boards and on the fourth official’s substitution and stoppage time announcement board, for the next three years.
Celsius’ branding will also be embedded into broadcasts by global rightsholder Apple TV, on social media, and through national retailer promotions.
Apple TV hold rights to all MLS and Leagues Cup matches globally as part of a 10-year rights deal worth around $2.5 billion, or $250 million per year. Fans are able to access the games via an MLS Season Pass package.
The length of the deal will see the agreement run through the 2024 Copa America, 2025 Club World Cup, and FIFA 2026 men’s World Cup, all of which are due to be hosted in the US.
John Fieldly, president and chief executive of Celsius Holdings, said: “The synergy between our brand and the world-class athleticism of MLS resonates with our health-conscious consumers who strive to live fit.
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“We look forward to helping fuel athletes with Essential Energy to help them exceed their goals on and off the field.”
The deal adds to Celsius’ growing sports sponsorship portfolio, which already includes being the official energy drink of MLS club Inter Miami and motor racing’s Formula 1 team Scuderia Ferrari.
Last August, the company secured a $550 million investment from soft drinks giant PepsiCo.
The partnership comes as the league enjoys unprecedented attention in the US after the arrival of Argentine superstar Lionel Messi to Inter Miami.
Since his debut, the team have been catapulted into the final of the Leagues Cup, the annual competition features clubs from MLS and Mexico’s top-tier Liga MX, with Messi scoring nine goals.
Messi’s debut also delivered the highest domestic single network viewing figure for an MLS side since 2004. The team’s 2-1 win over Mexico’s Cruz Azul, in which Messi scored a late winner, secured an average audience of 1.75 million on major Spanish-language network Univision.
The deal also comes as the country prepares to host the 2026 World Cup alongside Canada and Mexico, with the US keen to capitalize on the event to boost the profile of its main domestic competition.
Last month, MLS unveiled an extension to its commercial tie-up with US telecoms giant AT&T.