FC Cincinnati signs jersey sponsor ahead of MLS verdict

United Soccer League team FC Cincinnati has agreed a deal for Mercy Health to become its main shirt sponsor should the club gain entrance into Major League Soccer.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but FC Cincinnati said that the deal would become “one of the largest jersey sponsorship commitments in the MLS”, placing it on par with Atlanta United’s agreement with American Family Insurance.

MLS is due to announce the next two cities that have been successful in securing an expansion franchise before the end of the year. Cincinnati is one of 12 cities in the running for a franchise and faces competition from Charlotte, Detroit, Indianapolis, Nashville, Phoenix, Raleigh/Durham, Sacramento, St. Louis, San Antonio, San Diego, and Tampa/St. Petersburg.

Carl Lindner, majority owner of FC Cincinnati, said: “Mercy Health’s partnership with FC Cincinnati reaffirms the strength of the business community’s support for FC Cincinnati’s MLS vision. With an assist from Premier Partnerships, two incredible organisations are coming together for the benefit of our community by bringing MLS to the Queen City.”

Last month, rival USL team Sacramento Republic brokered a similar deal with UC Davis Health to become its main shirt sponsor if it were to secure an expansion franchise. The club said the agreement was the first binding jersey sponsorship deal signed before a team had earned formal entry to MLS.

The MLS is expected to announce its decision next month.