At long last Inter Miami is expected to get a jersey sponsor. The club sent out a media advisory that a “Historic Partnership Announcement” will be made at DRV PNK Stadium Wednesday night, and multiple sources said it will be a jersey sponsor deal.
Inter Miami and the Colorado Rapids are the only two of 27 MLS teams that do not have a major shirt sponsor. Miami’s training gear and stadium are sponsored by AutoNation, and Baptist Health has had its logo on team sleeves.
According to a source, the new sponsor is a cryptocurrency company. That industry has been getting more involved in sports sponsorships. FTX, a crypto exchange company, recently signed a $135 million naming rights deal for the Miami Heat arena formerly known as AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Inter Miami ownership group has ties to crypto exchange. Marcelo Claure, a part-owner who was reportedly planning to sell his stake in the club, is CEO of SoftBank Group, which through its $5 billion Latin America Fund in July invested $200 million in Brazil-based MercadoBitcoin, Latin America’s largest crypto exchange platform.
At the time of that deal, Claure said: “Cryptocurrencies have incredible potential in Latin America. We believe winning in Brazil is critical for (MercadoBitcoin owner) 2TM Group and are excited to take part in this incredible journey.”
A sponsor with ties to Latin America would make sense as the team roster includes five players from Argentina, one from Brazil, one from Venezuela and one from Mexico. The team’s fan base and T.V. audience in Latin America has been growing.
The search for the right Inter Miami shirt sponsor has been ongoing for years.
In the early days of Inter Miami’s launch managing owner Jorge Mas said that because of the team’s global reach, the club was working on jersey sponsors related to tourism companies such as airlines, cruise lines and hotel chains.
In 2020, news reports from England said that Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham was in talks with the oil-rich State of Qatar and Qatar Sports Investment (QSI) about becoming the club’s official sponsor. The Sun reported that a $234 million deal was done. Qatar at one point wanted to invest in the Inter Miami ownership group, but those plans never materialized.
After early season struggles Inter Miami has turned things around and gotten results in nine of the past 10 games — six wins, three ties — heading into Tuesday night’s road game at Toronto FC (7:30 p.m., My33, CW34, UniMas). Miami is in ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings with 12 games to go, two spots shy of a playoff spot.