“It has been an honor supporting MLS and SUM’s remarkable growth over the past five years,” said Jonathan Nelson, Founder and CEO of Providence. “By combining the most popular sport in the world with the largest media market in the world, we knew MLS had a unique opportunity. Don, his team, and the ownership group have exceeded all expectations in driving the league’s growth in teams, attendance, viewership, and sponsors – all while investing in the quality of the game and the experience for fans. With its solid financial footing and growth trajectory continuing, we expect MLS and SUM to keep on exceeding expectations, and we wish them great success.”
Providence has been the only outside investor in SUM. In addition to providing capital, Providence has served on SUM’s Board of Governors, contributing to strategic decision making. During this time, MLS has seen increases in attendance, viewership, sponsor revenue and significantly grown its fan base. The league’s success and broad appeal has also led to a significant increase in its domestic and international media rights fees. MLS has welcomed six new Clubs over this period, and recently announced that 12 ownership groups and markets have submitted official applications for the League’s next round of expansion. MLS will add four expansion teams in the coming years, growing to 28 clubs.