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Target Signs On as Major League Soccer Partner

Target Corp. is embarking on one of its largest-ever initiatives in the realm of team sports. The mega retailer will become an official partner of Major League Soccer in a move that immediately positions the company as one of the largest supporters of soccer in America.  

Target's multi-year MLS deal includes airtime during MLS broadcasts on multiple television circuits – such as Spanish-language channel Univision, as well as FOX Sports and ESPN – plus in-stadium marketing, player appearances, and ownership of certain major MLS platforms, to be unveiled at a later date.

“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, Target’s SVP of marketing who will shortly begin his new role as the retailer’s chief marketing officer. “We’ve partnered with several incredible organizations and vendors to invite soccer fans everywhere to engage with the Target brand in new ways.”

Official Jersey Sponsor of Minnesota United FC

In addition to the national MLS sponsorship, Target is digging in to support a new Twin Cities hometown favorite. As official partner of Minnesota United FC, Target's iconic bullseye logo will feature prominently on the team’s official jersey. Minnesota's new strip will be revealed in late February. The deal also includes on-field branding and events.

“We’re excited to welcome Target to the soccer family,” said Kathy Carter, president of Soccer United Marketing, the MLS’ commercial arm. “It’s great to see such a holistic approach being taken – from the professional ranks to the youth level. Minnesota United FC joins Major League Soccer as an expansion club this season. 

“We are proud to announce that Target, a great Minnesota-based company, will be Minnesota United’s first MLS kit sponsor,” said Nick Rogers, president, Minnesota United FC. “Together, Target and Minnesota United will represent the state of Minnesota in our global game.” Minnesota United's first preseason game kicks off February 9, against the Portland Timbers in the Pacific Northwest.

Commitment to Youth Soccer

Target is also committed for the long haul to youth soccer’s considerable U.S. growth with a related partnership 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.

“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.”

Target provided a $75,000 grant to the U.S. Soccer Foundation to support national expansion of the organization’s Soccer for Success program, a free after-school program that promotes soccer fundamentals, life skills, and mentorship, as well as community and family engagement.


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