BioSteel has struck a multi-year sponsorship deal with U.S. Soccer. The Toronto-based sports hydration company is now the official sports drink of the U.S. men’s and women’s national teams, as well as its youth squads. BioSteel declined to disclose financial terms of the deal, which was facilitated by Major League Soccer’s commercial arm, Soccer United Marketing.
The sponsorship is part of a broader BioSteel strategy to expand the company’s presence in the U.S. market and appeal to a new, more conscientious generation of consumers beyond the company’s initial target of athletes and sports teams.
“The real driver here was U.S. women’s soccer,” BioSteel co-founder and co-CEO John Celenza said in a phone interview. “We want our brand to stand for inclusiveness, and they were just a natural fit for us. Soccer is also the most played team sport in the world—we want to diversify our portfolio with this deal. We’ve got some of the best NFL players, the best NHL player, so we wanted to do something on the soccer side.”
The deal includes branding and exposure for BioSteel through physical product placement, in-stadium digital signage, awards sponsorships, and digital and social media integrations, as well as hydration education campaigns throughout the U.S. Soccer ranks and affiliate organizations. In exchange, BioSteel will provide its eco-friendly, zero-sugar product to the teams during training and at matches. The deal kicks off at the SheBelieves Cup in Orlando, Fla., a women’s invitational that starts this Thursday.
BioSteel also hopes to bring individual American soccer stars on board as ambassadors through the new partnership, having previously only endorsed a handful of younger U.S. women’s soccer prospects on various development teams.
The company already boasts NFL stars Patrick Mahomes and DeAndre Hopkins as investors, while Ezekiel Elliot, Jalen Ramsey and the NHL’s Connor McDavid serve as other athlete partners. Founded in 2009 by Celenza and former NHL player Michael Cammalleri, BioSteel was originally formulated for professional athletes but has made a push toward everyday consumers, powered by the endorsements of those original athlete clients.
“This deal is part of the same overall strategy as all the other deals we’ve done,” Celenza said. “We’re partnering with people who want to make a positive impact, people who want to help others learn about healthier alternatives. This resonates with them, and it resonated with U.S. Soccer. These people want to send a positive message to the people who look up to them.”
Canopy Growth Corporation, a cannabis company, bought a majority stake in the sports hydration company in 2019, paving the way for BioSteel to utilize CBD in future products. The company’s current product line features a range of nutritional products including sports drinks, powders and proteins.