How much health systems pay for MLS naming rights

Of all the professional U.S. sports leagues, hospitals and health system sponsorships feature most prominent in Major League Soccer.

Health systems are the main sponsor for several MLS franchises, name some of their stadiums, and even have patches on seven teams' jerseys. But how much do health systems pay for these sponsorships?

Of the numbers that have been reported, San Francisco-based Dignity Health's deal with the LA Galaxy may be the most expensive. Industry sources told Sports Business Journal the health system likely pays upward of $6 million a year for the naming rights to Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif., where the Galaxy plays its home games. The 10-year sponsorship started in 2019.

MLS stadium naming rights typically cost $4 million to $4.5 million annually, Sports Business Journal reported. Other MLS stadiums named after health systems include Providence Park in Portland, Ore., home to the Portland Timbers, and Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan., where Sporting Kansas City plays.

In 2017, Cincinnati-based Mercy Health signed a deal to be the main sponsor of FC Cincinnati worth $5 million a year, sources told Sports Business Journal and ESPN. The agreement runs through 2028. The health system's name adorn patches on the team's jerseys and the franchise's Mercy Health Training Center in Milford, Ohio.

Meanwhile, Houston-based MD Anderson Cancer Center signed a multiyear deal worth more than $4 million a year, about the league average, to be the jersey sponsor of the Houston Dynamo FC beginning in 2019, Sports Business Journal reported. MD Anderson is the team's main sponsor.

Other health systems with their names on MLS jerseys include Aurora, Colo.-based UC Health (Colorado Rapids), Dallas-based Children's Health and UT Southwestern Medical Center (FC Dallas), and Orlando (Fla.) Health (Orlando City SC).

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