AEG, operators of Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy, and Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF), a global nutrition direct-selling company, announced a five-year, between $3.5 million and $5 million a year expansion of Herbalife's agreement with AEG making Herbalife the presenting sponsor of the Los Angeles Galaxy. The agreement gives Herbalife on-jersey exposure for its brand beginning with the upcoming 2007 season, which begins April 8.
"The national and international appeal of soccer and of the Los Angeles Galaxy club in particular, is a natural fit for our global philosophy of promoting a healthy, active lifestyle" said Herbalife CEO Michael O. Johnson.
"We have had tremendous success partnering with many AEG-owned properties in our effort to build our brand image and allow our independent distributors increased access to new customers."
A cornerstone of the multi-year, multimillion dollar agreement is the ability for Herbalife to showcase its brand name on the front of the team jersey. For the first time in the history of team sports in the United States, a professional league will allow its franchises to sell "sponsorship rights" on a primary position of the players' uniforms. A long-accepted practice for soccer and other teams internationally, the 2007 MLS season will mark the first time a U.S. league will permit this marketing platform for team sponsors.
"Without a doubt, this is a milestone event in American sports marketing," said Shawn Hunter, President, AEG Sports and Chief Marketing Officer, AEG. "With the tremendous amount of global exposure the Galaxy is expected to generate in the upcoming season, the time was clearly right for a professional league in the United States to create this branding platform."
"The high caliber of play as well as the acquisition of international players has truly raised the interest and visibility of MLS in the United States and worldwide," said Timothy J. Leiweke, President & CEO, AEG. "The league's exceptional national broadcast contracts with ABC, ESPN, HD Net and Univision, the number of new soccer-specific stadiums opened or being built and the remarkable success of the recent World Cup ratings in the United States indicates a new day for American soccer and the sport."
"Additionally, Herbalife's support of the Galaxy raises the bar for our club while being a tremendous boon for the sport," continued Leiweke. "We've had the opportunity to work with Herbalife since 2005 and no other company activates a sponsorship as well as they do. Herbalife sponsorship of AEG properties has grown over the past two years and their distributors have become a familiar sight at The Home Depot Center and our other events."
"Soccer brings people together, and bridges across nationalities and borders," said Greg Probert, Herbalife's president and chief operating officer. "We have 1.5 million independent distributors in 64 countries. With upcoming Galaxy matches scheduled for the United States, Mexico and Asia and the worldwide interest in soccer, we'll be supporting our distributors with branding in their own backyards and on a global scale."
Herbalife first became a sponsor of AEG-owned and operated events in 2005. The Herbalife name will appear in conjunction with the team name on all official team wear and replica jerseys and other select team merchandise. The agreement also makes Herbalife the official sponsor of all international and exhibition games; provides it with increased media exposure including television commercials and radio spots; exposure on the 110, 10, 405 and 91 freeways; Web presence and sponsorship of Los Angeles Galaxy grass roots and community programs.
About Los Angeles Galaxy
One of thirteen Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs, the Los Angeles Galaxy were founded on June 15, 1994 and play all of the club's home games at The Home Depot Center on the campus of California State University at Dominguez Hills in Carson, Calif. The L.A. Galaxy are one of the premier teams in MLS boasting five championships including the MLS Cup (2002, 2005), U.S. Open Cup (2001, 2005) and CONCACAF Champions' Cup (2000).
AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Company, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, The Home Depot Center, Toyota Park, Toyota Sports Center, Anaheim Convention Center Arena, El Rey Theatre, Colosseum at Caesars Palace, NOKIA Theatre at Grand Prairie and NOKIA Theatre Times Square; sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), Los Angeles Riptide (MLL), the Los Angeles Galaxy, Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo (MLS),, two hockey franchises operated in Europe, management of privately held shares of the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA), the ING Bay to Breakers foot race and the Amgen Tour of California cycling road race; AEG LIVE, the organization's live-entertainment division, is a collection of companies dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance, touring and a variety of programming and multi-media production. Additionally, the company has begun fully developing London's 28-acre Millennium Dome which includes a 23,000-seat arena, the O2 and over 650,000sf of leisure and entertainment use within the 'Dome' and additional arenas; The O2 World on a 45-acre site in the heart of Berlin; Citizen's Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California; Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri; as well as Red Bull Park, a soccer stadium in Harrison, New Jersey; and L.A. Live, a $2.5 billion sports and entertainment district in downtown Los Angeles.