TikTok has signed a new, multi-year partnership with Major League Soccer (MLS), which will see MLS share exclusive content and in-app programming, while also incorporating in-stadium activations and TikTok sponsorship of various MLS events and tournaments.
As per TikTok:
“As an ‘Official Partner’ of MLS, TikTok will be integrated into every MLS game throughout the season through various in-stadium branding, TikTok & MLS content across stadium videoboards, and more. TikTok is also the co-presenting sponsor of eMLS Cup, the League’s esports tournament. We're excited to continue spotlighting TikTok as a place where the sports and gaming community intersect, while providing quality entertainment for all.”
The partnership will provide another way for TikTok to further integrate itself with major sporting leagues, which could help to bring more fans to the app.
The deal will also bring new opportunities for creators:
“Over the course of the partnership, TikTok and MLS will launch a new Club Creator Network, where TikTok creators will be paired with MLS Clubs to create exciting content during the regular season and off-season. Creators and MLS Clubs will work together to enhance the fan experience by offering unique access to their favorite MLS players and behind-the-scenes moments that can only be found on TikTok.”
The new agreement will also provide TikTok users with access to MLS content and clips, which will provide more ways for TikTok users to create their own MLS highlight videos and integrations, helping to further promote the league.
“Throughout the season, fans can also search ‘MLS’ on TikTok and get access to the MLS Hub, featuring the newest content from MLS, its Clubs, and players - all in one place. From the Hub, fans can also access MLS's website with more information about match schedules and scores.”
As it is on all platforms, soccer content is highly popular on TikTok, with views on the #soccer tag increasing more than 500% over the past two years. That, of course, would be somewhat influenced by the World Cup, and broader engagement with that event - but even so, there’s a growing legion of soccer fans in the app, who will be keen to consume more content.
Indeed, the @mls TikTok account now has over 1.2 million followers.
@mls @thiagoalmadaezequiel16 is special! ???????? #mls #soccer #golazo #argentina #comeback #win #mlsisback ♬ original sound - Major League Soccer
As such, it makes sense for TikTok to formalize their partnership, especially as it looks to further embed itself in as many ways as it can, in the hopes of avoiding a US ban.
I mean, that probably won’t weigh into any decision on such, but maybe, if TikTok can show that it’s a critical information channel, in a range of ways, that could help to strengthen its case.
Either way, more soccer content can only be beneficial, while the expanded sponsorship elements will bring even more exposure for the app.