The United Soccer League has inked a 10-year deal focused on maintaining growth momentum with Legends, the experiential and data and analytics business, the two companies announced this morning.
Legends will seek to boost national sponsorship sales, generate actionable fan insights and uncover innovative business solutions for the men’s and women’s teams through the USL’s leagues. The USL has professional and club teams in about 200 communities in the U.S., and has designs on challenging MLS supremacy for the sport by aligning with the global soccer norms around season timing and possibly embracing relegation, according to an April story in the Sacramento Bee.
“This long-term partnership with Legends will help us take advantage of the tremendous opportunity ahead of us,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis in a press release. “We are aligning more closely with the global game than any other American soccer property, and as we enter a critical, new growth phase for our commercial business, Legends’ unmatched expertise in both global football and the domestic sports landscape will help us achieve our key business objectives.”
The USL operates three professional leagues: the USL Championship in men’s soccer, the USL Super League in women’s soccer and USL One, another men’s league. The organization also operations two “pre-professional leagues” and two national youth leagues.
Legends, started by the Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees to operate their new stadium offerings in 2008, has extensive experience in working with soccer organizations, including a recent deal to revamp Real Madrid’s stadium. Legends will work with the USL to increase its local presence and grow through stadium planning, ticketing strategies, naming rights and sales, merchandising and other areas, according to the release.
In particular, the organizations see the 2026 men’s World Cup being held mainly in the U.S. as a key event to help market and promote soccer in the U.S., according to the release. Terms of the partnership with Legends weren’t publicly disclosed.