MLS Social Leaders & Brands That Win

Major League Soccer may be postponed as of now, however, we can still analyze brands and value MLS players and teams bring to the social landscape. Social media has given many athletes and teams the ability to become influencers value to their associated sponsorships.

According to Street & Smiths Sports Business Journal, “Bastian Schweinsteiger, who retired at the end of the season after three seasons with the Chicago Fire, generated $22.2 million for brands that appeared in his posts.” Here are some of the top MLS players in terms of following and value reported by SBJ and data provided by MVPindex.

Player Rankings

1. Zlatan Ibrahimović – 74.4 million followers

2. Bastian Schweinsteiger – 23.7 million followers

3. Jonathan dos Santos – 4.3 million followers

4. Jozy Altidore – 1.2 million followers

5. Josef Martinez – 711.3 thousand followers

Followers calculated across Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

Beyond players, many teams have seen an increase in followers. Atlanta United has broke MLS history and grew its Twitter following to 1 million overall followers. The next closest team in following on Twitter is the Seattle Sounders at 565.5 thousand. Here are the top 5 teams in terms of overall followings and value given by MVPindex.

Team Rankings

1. LA Galaxy – 3.9 million followers

2. Atlanta United – 1.7 million followers

3. Seattle Sounders – 1.6 million followers

4. LAFC – 1.1 million followers

5. Austin FC – 89.9 thousand followers

Followers calculated across Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

Not only are these top players and teams winners on social, but their partnered brands are as well. There are many lucrative sponsorships in the vast landscape of MLS. The majority of these brands receive high returns in media value.

Adidas dominates with its latest deal running through 2024, valued at $700 million according to Forbes. This mega-deal has elevated the brand on social–giving Adidas an estimated $4.5 million in overall value according to MVPindex. Other MLS partners that have benefited are Audi–who signed another multi-year deal in July 2018, given their estimated value from social is $3.5 million. Here are the top 5 brands, reported by MVPindex, benefiting from social exposure. Significantly 4 out of the top 5 being MLS exclusive partners.

Top Brands With High Media Value

1. Adidas – $4.5 million *MLS Partner

2. Audi – $3.5 million *MLS Partner

3. Herbalife – $2 million

4. At&T – $1.8 million *MLS Partner

5. Target – $1.6 million *MLS Partner

Once MLS play returns, we will closely examine and evaluate the social media implications in the 25th year of professional soccer in the U.S.

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Carson Boykin

Assistant Account Executive, Sports