Buzzy energy drink purveyor Celsius Holdings has signed its first national professional sports sponsorship, according to a news release. The brand will serve as the official energy drink of Major League Soccer (MLS) through the 2026 season, a move that arrives in the midst of the 2023 Leagues Cup running through Aug. 19. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Through the agreement, Celsius will act as the presenting partner for extra time during all MLS-controlled matches. Extra time is played at the end of each half of 90-minute soccer games to account for time lost on the pitch due to injuries, penalties and other stoppages.
Brand assets for the beverage marketer will appear on field-level LED boards tracking the minutes designated for extra time and player substitutions. Celsius will additionally run activations and immersive consumer experiences at certain MLS matches, including marquee events. The next FIFA World Cup will take place in 2026, with the U.S., Canada and Mexico serving as host countries.
Celsius’ presence will extend into MLS broadcasts on Apple TV+, social media integrations and national retail promotions. MLS Season Pass jumped to the iPhone maker’s streaming service this year as part of a 10-year, $2.5 billion deal.
Celsius is aligning the sponsorship around its focus on health and wellness, embodied in a “Live Fit” mantra. The announcement noted that the deal gives the brand an opportunity to engage a millennial-skewing, multicultural audience.
Celsius has marketed its energy drink products heavily toward younger demographics, seeking to differentiate from more established rivals like Red Bull. Celsius last August secured a $550 million investment from PepsiCo, a growth play that includes a long-term distribution agreement.
While soccer is massively popular at the global level, it’s only started to generate serious traction in the U.S. more recently. MLS is currently in its 28th season.
Celsius has been active in seeking out sports sponsorships elsewhere to shore up a better-for-you reputation. In April, the company inked a deal with Scuderia Ferrari to serve as its exclusive energy drink partner across all U.S. Formula One Grand Prix races this year.