U.S. Soccer extended its partnership with Volkswagen
The GIST: The U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) is putting the pedal to the business metal. On Monday, the governing body extended its partnership with Volkswagen, the latest in a string of renewals ahead of a nine-month period that will see both the USMNT and USWNT play in FIFA World Cups.
The details: Worth seven figures annually, the new deal runs through the 2026 men’s World Cup co-hosted by the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Volkswagen stays on as the USSF’s presenting partner for all national teams, and will continue to sponsor the federation’s warmup apparel.
- The car manufacturer’s logo will also appear in stadiums and across digital content, while mini versions of Volkswagen’s electric vehicles will deliver balls for select matches to promote the brand’s sustainability efforts.
The context: Last week, the USSF re-upped with Allstate and Anheuser-Busch (A-B), both reportedly worth seven figures a year and equally committed to the USWNT and USMNT. Allstate will be the title partner of one top-tier women’s and men’s match yearly, and A-B continues to sponsor the player of the match award.
- Notably, Volkswagen and Allstate originally signed USWNT–centric deals with the federation. The former came on in 2019 with the intent of funding programs for women coaches, while Allstate joined later that year as the USWNT’s World Cup Victory Tour title sponsor.
- A-B is the USSF’s longest-standing partner, and has recently shifted focus to women’s soccer — Budweiser became an NWSL sponsor following the 2019 World Cup, and criticized the federation during the equal pay lawsuit.
Zooming out: In the USSF’s post–equal pay era, partnerships that were once designed to fill inequitable gaps are now converting to bigger wins for the organization as a whole. And it comes as little surprise — these huge sponsors were vocal supporters of the historic collective bargaining agreements, making equal pay an all-important business play.