German carmaker Volkswagen has signed a new Founding Partner deal with the Canadian Premier League – Canada’s forthcoming national soccer league.
Under the multi-year deal, Volkswagen will get national promotional and media assets across the CPL and its seven clubs: the HFX Wanderers FC, York9 FC, Forge FC, Valour FC, FC Edmonton, Cavalry FC and Pacific FC.
Volkswagen will also get a shirt sponsorship at one – still to be confirmed – CPL club. Volkswagen will promote Canadian soccer through community grassroots programs, local dealerships and via the CPL club app.
The partnership was negotiated by Canadian Soccer Business on behalf of the CPL.
Scott Mitchell, chief executive at CSB, said the CPL aims to be the number one professional sports league in Canada by 2026, when Canada co-hosts the Fifa World Cup with the US and Mexico.
“We are fuelling a movement that will make soccer a part of Canadian culture and identity,” said Mitchell.
“We are building a groundswell in our communities so that there is a true, lasting attachment and affinity to this league.”
A recent survey by ReThink Management survey found that almost 60 per cent of Canadian soccer fans would prefer a top-tier, all-Canadian professional league to Major League Soccer franchises operating north of the US border.
The same survey found a high level of interest in a hypothetical Canadian first division prior to the Canadian Soccer Association officially sanctioning the CPL in 2017.
The Canadian Premier League is expected to kick-off in April 2019. Seven teams will compete in its first season, but more teams are expected to join for the 2020 season.