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Youth Boys Mar 13, 2015

AYSO announces jersey sponsorship deal with Fox Sports

The American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) and FOX Sports this week announced a jersey sponsorship as part of the five-year partnership between the two organizations.

AYSO logoStarting this spring, 500,000 AYSO players are expected to wear the new official AYSO-FOX Sports 1 jersey. FOX Sports 1 is prominently displayed on the right chest of all AYSO jerseys, while the AYSO’s own logo will remain on the left chest of all AYSO jerseys.

The announcement and jersey were unveiled on-air during FOX Sports 1’s coverage of the U.S. Women’s National Team Algarve Cup final on Wednesday by FOX Sports analyst and AYSO alumnus Alexi Lalas and AYSO National Executive Director Ian McMahon.

“From the FIFA World Cup to the UEFA Champions League to Major League Soccer, FOX Sports is home to the biggest properties in soccer, and through this jersey sponsorship we are excited about expanding our relationship with another fantastic organization in AYSO,”  said Chris Hannan, FOX Sports Executive Vice President, Communications & Integration in a statement.

“FOX Sports champions the same values of quality soccer, family, fitness and fun as AYSO and we’re thrilled to enhance the development of youth soccer in the U.S.”

The move drew praise from sports broadcasting website Awful Announcing, which called it “a fascinating partnership” that could help spread the word about FS1, an ambitious and relatively new venture meant to compete head-to-head with dominant cable sports channels ESPN and ESPN2.

“In an effort to improve the perception that FS1 is the home of soccer, Fox Sports is about to subtly infiltrate homes full of soccer fans,” noted Awful Announcing’s David Rogers. “Children will see the logo and ask about it. Parents will connect the logo to the advertisements they regularly see for the channel.

“Combined, the new logo should lead to a big boost in awareness of Fs1 among soccer fans and that’s exactly what Fox Sports is counting on, because after more than a year there’s still a pretty big awareness gap when it comes to the network.”

+READ: $720 million bet: Historic new MLS-U.S. Soccer TV deal promises real investment from ESPN, Fox, Univision

FOX Sports is broadcasting the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, with multiplatform coverage including 16 matches live on the FOX broadcast network for the first time ever. This summer kicks off the network’s exclusive rights to the next four FIFA World Cups, with the men’s events in 2018, 2022, 2026 and the women’s tournament in 2019 and 2023.

FOX Sports 1 also features a diverse selection of soccer properties like the UEFA Champions League, Major League Soccer, England’s FA Cup, UEFA Europa League, CONCACAF Champions League and soon, Germany’s Bundesliga.

Since AYSO was founded in 1964, more than six million children have played in its community soccer programs, with more than 50,000 teams taking to fields this fall, making it the biggest soccer club in the world. With much of its membership concentrated in California, AYSO can boast notable alumni like Lalas and his fellow U.S. Soccer Hall of Famer and FOX Sports analyst Eric Wynalda, as well as USWNT forward Alex Morgan and recently-retired USMNT and MLS star Landon Donovan.

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