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MLS scores Chipotle partnership

Fast-food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill has entered into a commercial partnership with Major League Soccer and its 12 clubs for the North American league’s 2014 season.

Chipotle Mexican Grill will be the “official fast-casual” Mexican restaurant of the MLS and its clubs under an agreement that will feature promotional initiatives with all teams and numerous individuals across the competition.

The inaugural MLS Homegrown game will be title sponsored by Chipotle when it takes place as part of MLS All-Star Week in August, while the chain’s commitment to grassroots development will be underpinned by the Chipotle Youth Homegrown Athlete promotion.

During 10 home games per MLS team a high-achieving youth athlete will receive four tickets to the match, a chance to meet players and coaches, dinner at Chipotle with their team-mates and an opportunity to host a fundraiser for their team at the restaurant location. Chipotle and each MLS club will also host free soccer clinics for up to 200 children, utilising MLS players and coaches.

LA Galaxy and USA defender Omar Gonzalez will represent the MLS as an official spokesperson for the partnership and play a central role in the Homegrown campaign, featuring in promotional skills videos on his social media channels.

To kick-off the partnership, Chipotle will host a ‘March to Soccer’ promotion in the 12 MLS markets to celebrate the beginning of the 2014 season. Soccer fans who come to Chipotle wearing their local MLS club gear on the date of the team’s home opener can receive a buy-one-get-one-free deal.