Global professional services provider Deloitte has renewed its sponsorship deal with the U.S. Soccer Federation, agreeing to a multiyear pact that may not have come to fruition had the governing body’s March presidential election turned out differently. Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed, but U.S. Soccer’s chief commercial officer David Wright said the agreement runs for at least three years.
Locking in Deloitte long-term is a major win for recently reelected president Cindy Parlow Cone, who was challenged for the position earlier this year by Carlos Cordeiro. Cordiero previously held Parlow Cone’s seat before resigning in 2020 amid an uproar over sexism within the federation—namely an offensive U.S. Soccer legal argument in the pay equity lawsuit brought by the U.S. Women’s National Team—that many sponsors, including Deloitte, broadly rebuked.
A U.S. Soccer sponsor since 2019, Deloitte was the federation’s only corporate backer to publicly express concern over Cordiero’s attempt to retake the job this year, but it wasn’t alone in its apprehensions, as Sportico previously reported. The consultancy told Sportico that the future of its relationship with the governing body depended on future leadership.
The Deloitte renewal marks the fifth commercial deal signed by U.S. Soccer during Parlow Cone’s tenure, as the governing body restructures its approach to corporate partnerships, now handled in-house alongside its media rights and consumer product rights. Last November, U.S. Soccer re-upped with Nike in a 10-year pact that’s the largest and longest in federation history, and which, like the Deloitte deal, includes a focus on growing the women’s game.
It also comes shortly after the men’s national team clinched a spot in the 2022 FIFA World Cup after an eight-year hiatus, and amid a busy decade for U.S. Soccer as the women’s team readies for the 2023 World Cup and as the United States prepares to host the 2026 World Cup alongside Canada and Mexico.
“We’re in a really special period for our sport, and [we are] incredibly bullish on the future of the game,” Wright said in a phone interview. “As we think about it from a commercial standpoint, we’re all about aligning with strategic partners that really buy into this vision of growth. Deloitte has stepped up big time, and is an incredibly valuable partner that has committed to helping us get there.”
Deloitte will continue to serve as an official U.S. Soccer sponsor, supporting all U.S. national teams, and a foundational partner of the women’s empowerment initiative SheBelieves.
“Our involvement with U.S. Soccer Federation is about advancing the sport—making it more inclusive and growing the next generation of players and fans,” Dan Helfrich, chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting, said in a statement. “Our support of the SheBelieves Summit is one example of how with U.S. Soccer we are investing in that next generation, specifically supporting women as not only athletes, but also leaders on and off the field.”
The company will also continue to provide business support to U.S. Soccer as the organization looks to evolve commercially with an eye toward modernization—from sustainability to technology—over the next decade.