The United Soccer Leagues, LLC, announced on Wednesday a new partnership with renowned soccer manufacturer Select, which will become the official match ball provider to all USL properties beginning in the 2018 season. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Select is well established in European football, becoming the official match ball provider to the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga beginning in the 2018-19 season, and is an official partner of the Danish Superliga. Its new agreement covers all USL-related properties, including the United Soccer League – one of the most prominent Division II professional leagues in the world – the USL’s Division III, the Premier Development League (PDL) and the Super Y League. Select will support its partnership through additional marketing and advertising, while enhancing each USL club’s merchandise offering of licensed and official replica match balls.
“This new agreement between the USL and Select will continue to raise the profile of both organizations and create synergies to drive the growth of professional soccer forward in the region,” said USL Chief Executive Officer Alec Papadakis. “We are thrilled to work with a partner that wants to build and grow with the USL, and believes in our vision for the future of soccer in this country. In addition, for our continued success, it’s important that we are aligned with an authentic football brand for our fans and our clubs. This is a great quality ball, and premier brand in the sport.”
Founded in 1947 by Danish national team player Eigin Nielsen, Select has been an innovator on the pitch since its early days. Select match balls were the first to be produced with no outside cord, which allowed the ball to better retain its shape, and later was the first manufacturer to introduce the 32-panel design which is now the standard for soccer balls around the world.
Since securing its partnership with the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga earlier this year, Select is now aiming to move strongly into the North American market, and its partnership with the fast-growing USL and its associated properties is a major step forward in that effort.
“The tremendous growth the USL has seen in new soccer markets makes it the perfect partner as we raise Select’s profile across North America,” said President of Select Sport America Lars Nielsen. “The opportunity for the USL and Select to rise together across the soccer landscape in the United States and Canada through this partnership will see our range of top-level match balls made highly visible and highly available in the USL’s broad spectrum of markets, and we are very excited to be part of the league’s plans for further growth.”
Select’s representatives were a guest at the 2017 USL Winter Summit which opened today in downtown Tampa, Fla.