The United Soccer League (USL) has moved to allow betting sponsorships on team shirts via a modification to its marketing rules. Front Office Sports, which broke the story, reported that the change has been approved and shared with clubs, positioning North American soccer’s secondary league body in line with Major League Soccer (MLS). 

According to the updated marketing rules USL clubs may strike partnerships with sports betting companies that are able to legally offer sports wagering within the specific team’s state. There is a caveat in that potential new sponsors must use data from league matches that are licensed by the league’s official data provider which is currently Opta.

Betting firms may also use USL club marks in advertising, but only within the team’s state, with online advertising to be targeted at those residents.

Quoted by Front Office Sports, USL President Jake Edwards said: “We want to be early movers in this space and it’s very important that our clubs have the flexibility to benefit economically from this category. We feel like it’s a dynamic that most soccer fans – whether domestic or international – are already accustomed to so we want to be as progressive as possible.”