The Major League Soccer season kicks off in March with new flagship corporate sponsors for this season – including Kraft Beverages and Chipotle Mexican Grill and the latter kicks off its of MLS activation with a youth-focused, grassroots campaign called ‘Homegrown’.
The initiative’s showpiece is the new ‘Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game’which a first-time national match featuring the best homegrown US players from across the league in a game played during August’s AT&T™ MLS All-Star Week.
While the core of the initiative sees Chipotle work with MLS on supporting grassroots youth soccer through skills courses and training camps.
The marketing campaign itself is fronted by brand ambassador, LA Galaxy star and US national team player Omar Gonzalez.
Gonzalez introduces the new Chipotle/MLS partnership, in support of youth soccer via an online film that features former teammate David Beckham posing in his underwear on a bus.
The video features Gonzalez appearing to be the New York public’s centre of attention, only to discover that a nearly naked David Beckham is what the crowd are really interested in.
Chipotle’s ‘Homegrown’ campaign also includes soccer skills videos, youth training camps and the first ever ‘Homegrown Game’ through a campaign built around its bespoke www.Chipotle.com/Homegrown site and online film work.
The other elements of the campaign extend from the initiative’s bespoke website at www.Chipotle.com/Homegrown which hosts educational skills video such as ‘trap and pass’
and ‘striking the ball’,
plus hosting competition details and other campaign features.
The partnership, which sees Chipotle become the official fast-casual Mexican restaurant of MLS, is the company’s largest sports sponsorship deal ever.
‘At the core of our effort to change the way people think about and eat fast food is our commitment to finding better, more sustainable sources for all of the ingredients we use,’ outlines Chipotle chief marketing officer Mark Crumpacker.
‘The value is one that is often shared by people with an active lifestyle. This partnership with MLS will allow us to further engage consumers in a sport we have long supported through grassroots efforts.’
Beckham it seems, despite his retirement, remains something of a MLS pull – particularly as he switches his role from player to franchise owner.
Chipotle Homegrown Website