Revenue streams for Louisville’s pro soccer club continue to improve and expand, thanks in part to broadcast deals and new uniform sponsors.
When Louisville City FC players step onto Slugger Field at 2 p.m. Saturday for their season opener, the front of their jerseys will display the logo of GE Appliances, while the back will advertise Falls City Beer. Humana was on the front last year, and WLKY was on the back.
While the club did not disclose the length of the contracts or financial details, a spokesman told Insider that this year’s deals are “more lucrative” than those the club signed in prior years.
National soccer officials announced in January that the United Soccer League, the league in which LouCity plays, was promoted from the third to the second division, a move that a USL official said would provide clubs with greater broadcasting and sponsorship opportunities.
The new status confers upon the league reputational benefits and interest from more fans — but also from more sponsors and advertisers, the official told Insider.
And that’s exactly what seems to be happening for LouCity.
The club recently signed a broadcasting deal that will bring all 32 games to TV, increasing the team’s exposure and providing another revenue stream.
This week, the club announced the new uniform sponsors.
“The media exposure we’ll get this year definitely doesn’t hurt when talking to sponsors,” club spokesman Jonathan Lintner told Insider via email. “We’ll play in and be on TV in major markets around the country in addition to having all our games on locally here.”
Generating more revenue is critical for the clubs, especially for those like LouCity that do not own their own stadiums. The Louisville club achieved success on and off the field in its first two years, reaching the conference finals — essentially the league championship semifinals — and ranking among the top two or three teams in attendance, drawing an average of more than 7,200 last season.
Nonetheless, LouCity FC lost money its first two seasons — though the loss shrank last year — and club leaders have said that generating a profit may be difficult without its own stadium. Louisville City FC leaders said they are working on securing a location and financing for a stadium, with their preferred site being in downtown Louisville.
The club’s uniforms do have more real estate for sponsors, including the sleeves and the shorts, Lintner said.
The club’s third season will kick off at 2 p.m. Saturday against St. Louis FC. Single-game tickets start at $15.