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Cosmos land Emirates Airlines as jersey sponsor

CosmosFlyEmirates (Cosmos)


They may be playing in the second tier of U.S. Soccer this season, but the New York Cosmos are making waves with their first tier sponsorship deals.

The Cosmos announced a deal on Tuesday with Emirates Airlines to become the team’s jersey sponsor, and potentially to get naming rights to a future stadium. The agreement was announced at a press conference in Manhattan, New York, with legendary Brazil forward and former Cosmos player Pele, as well as club Chairman Seamus O’Brien, on hand.

The news was first reported on Monday, putting the Cosmos together with European powers Arsenal, AC Milan, and Real Madrid as teams with Air Emirates on the front of the shirt. Last month, the Cosmos revealed that Nike would be their uniform sponsor this season.

What do you make of this news? Think that the Cosmos are sending a message to MLS?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Dont see cosmos in mls but would love Cosmos to maybe make a bid for the redbulls franchise and YES rebrand Redbulls to Cosmos!! Cosmos vs NYcity = epic.

  2. The Cosmos are a good organization! Everything coming together for them. But there won’t be an Emirates Stadium in NYC, NYers would absolutely flip out. The scars from 9/11 will be on this city for a long time.

    • Emirates is a Dubai company in the UAE–aka not in any way, shape or form related to anything to do with 9/11.

      • SanFran415,

        You’ve missed the point of Arab/Islamic heritage of this country and their obvious contradictory culture in comparison to American or Western values. That was the point being made. Who want’s Arab entities in New York city proper.

        Also, western culture and arab culture contradict each other horribly.

      • Dubai is no more Islamic than Chicago. It’s the most western part of the Middle East by a long shot.

        I would know. I’ve been there.

      • Let me be more specific. Yes, I’ve been to the gulf countries plenty of times and you only see western infrastructure, but their cultural behavior is less than desirable. There mentality is all about the arab way, which sucks. That’s the problem. Backward, self righteous monetary sheikhs dictating arabism, while using western and or modern engineering. They’re mere perpetrators.

        I’m an engineer and I’ve worked as a contractor in Qatar, spending a few years, with regret. I wouldn’t live there permanently because these people know nothing about “Civil Liberties or true Freedom.” I regret that I played a part in building there Information Technology systems. It will never happen again.

      • who WANTS it? dude have you gone outside at any point in the last 30 years? its already here, and shock of shocks, we dont have terrorist attacks every week or sharia law throughout the land, you bigoted muppet.

      • solles,

        You don’t have a clue about me or what you’re talking about. I have first hand experience in these countries working as a contractor helping self righteous people in these countries build their IT infrastructure. I regret it and it’ll never happen again.

        Keep your flabby simple mentality to yourself, it’s mere waste.

    • Fighting whether or not an over-the-top mosque can be built near Ground Zero? Reason to fight, protest, cause general outrage.

      Sponsorship on a kit? Let’s focus on more important things.

  3. They’re making all the right moves. If NYCFC is a stellar success than the Cosmos will follow in to the MLS not too far behind.

  4. The question is, how much are they getting for it? Doesn’t really mean anything if it’s something close to free advertising for Emirates.

  5. Red bull, what u waiting for……. Cosmos want u. A perfect match in soccer. Can anybody just make a cosmos jersey with red bull as the front jersey sponsor, because we all want that, even add emirates as well. I see mls jerseys with 2 sponsors in the future.

  6. We probably shouldn’t assume that they’re getting big bucks. I can’t imagine that Emirates would pay as much to Cosmos (who have no TV deal with their league) as they pay to other clubs in leagues with worldwide coverage.

    But…..Cosmos don’t need that much money to make a serious dent in American soccer. Many MLS clubs only have a payroll of $3-4MM. The market for talent is probably pretty efficient. If Cosmos pay that much, you should expect them to dominate the NASL and have a club that would challenge for a playoff spot in MLS.

    Personally, I LOVE the potential for chaos that a growing and thriving NASL or USL poses to MLS. I appreciate MLS, but I do NOT like their model of single owner, salary caps, expansion vs. pro/rel, drafts, reentry allocations, etc. I like a more entrepreneurial model where a club like the Cosmos can do what they want and win or lose without having to run all their decisions past Don Garber.

    • No one likes the MLS model, but I accept it as absolutely integral to the slow and steady growth of soccer in the US and Canada. We saw the boom and bust business model in the 70s and 80s. It did nothing for the long-term growth of the sport. Garber, for all his faults, knows how to keep MLS on an upward trajectory.

      That said, I also love the idea of NASL doing it their own way. Maybe, just maybe, NASL’s model works out. Nothing wrong with two viable leagues.

      • I agree with this.

        However for all of Garber’s strengths watching the bottom line, he’s got huge weaknesses in public relations and connecting MLS with its fan base.

        – convoluted rules no one gets. (Even if it must be complex streamline and clarify a message for the people)
        – alienating cascadia by trying to steal the branding of their cup
        – letting an energy drink company gobble any nugget of authenticity from NYCs first team
        – Letting a euro powerhouse club make NYCs second team it’s JV USA marketing team
        – Pissing contest with Cosmos

    • I get why that model is appealing. But there’s also the fact that it was tried before, and had it worked, the MLS and its restrictions wouldn’t exist.

      While past failure doesn’t ensure that the failure would be repeated, it does provide some evidence that perhaps the purely entrepreneurial model is not the best option for soccer in the US.

      • Also, MLS has loosened up some of its single-entity restrictions over the years. Roster decisions are not as constrained by the salary cap as the early years of the league (see DC United trading away players to stay under the cap). The league’s willingness to allow teams to use allocation funds to manage their salary caps and teams’ abilities to retain significant portions of transfer fees have shifted over the years. The biggest remaining obstacle of the single-entity system is the lack of free agency. The last CBA clearly hinged on this topic, but progress was achieved by the players.

        Back on-topic: Kudos for the Cosmos ownership, but it’s amazing that they’ve been able to monetize hype. I hope they’re a successful NASL club, and I hope they can challenge MLS sides in the Open Cup. Remember back in the late 1990’s when players could make more money playing for the Rochester Raging Rhinos? It’s happened before. NYC is obviously much larger than Rochester. I just hope the Cosmos ownership pursues a path of sustainability rather than the goal of being a flash in the pan.

    • “I can’t imagine that Emirates would pay as much to Cosmos (who have no TV deal with their league) as they pay to other clubs in leagues with worldwide coverage.”

      You’re absolutely correct and that was my first thought as well.

      However, believe it or not, NY Cosmos is a world-wide brand that many people recognize. Additionally, it’s got that hipster appeal to it right now as well.

      Marketing/branding and revenue from merchandise makes this an attractive offer for “Fly Emirates” considering the Nike campaign/advertising of this new kit (with their sponsor on the front).

      • Yep. No TV contract, but lots of Cosmos jerseys sell all over the world based on the much-derided-by-fanboys nostalgia market. Who cares? If the Cosmos name move lots of jerseys, then it is worth money to Emirates to have their name on those jerseys. Money is money and it does not matter if it is coming from “nostalgia” sales or from “real-football-club-supporting-fanboys(TM)” sales.

    • NASL and USL can fit nice and snug behind MLS as the lower divisions and if NASL and USL are truly THRIVING leagues then their really isn’t much debate against pro/rel anymore. that’s a big if tho

      • There is still much debate! NYCFC pays 100mil to get into MLS and NASL clubs put up 1.25-1.5mil entry fee. SO you don’t think NYCFC would be pissed to be allow say the Cosmos to be promoted at a hell of alot cheaper fee then what they paid? Come of it bro. There could be some kind of forfeit of TV monies for so many years if you get promoted but still way to many details and money to figure out.

      • mls is worried about nasl. upper ups in fifa have not been happy about mls- they feel they should have done more cracking in us market. traffic is upper ups $ behind it and is there to push sums aka mls investment.

    • Who knows? No salary cap in NASL. Create a “super team”, win NASL, win US Open Cup, win CONCACAP Champions League, play in the Club World Cup, get yourself invited to Copa Libertadores or Copa Sudamericana … pipe dream, but you never know.

      • If the NASL starts putting up some money, not breaking the bank, they will be able to compete with the MLS teams for talent and results, US Open cup for one and CONCACAF Champions League. If the Cosmos or Orlando or other NASL teams can start competing and building SSS then MLS may want to merge like the AFL/NFL or ABA/NBA. As an investor think of what the Cosmos or another NASL team could do with the $100 Million Franchise fee for MLS. Not sure what an NASL franchise costs but they could easily support 8 years of a $10 million dollar payroll. That kind of investment could bring the NASL credibility and some US Open cups to brag about.

      • Where is the TV money? Sports today, especially in the US, depend on TV revenue. MLS has that cornered. Unless you’re watching NASL on Bien Sports.

      • Do they really? Here’s a humbling fact, the EPL will get more from NBCSports than MLS, hmm, think about that big man. The Market is wide open for the taking, so put ur Pom pomander away big boy, Cosmos does not need MLS.

      • And how does any of that have to do with the NASL’s revenues? If anything, it says that the NASL’s fighting for an even smaller portion of the TV revenue pie than before, which would make the Cosmos need the MLS even more.

        Did you read what you wrote?

      • did you comprehend what I wrote?If a foreign league is paid more it tells me that a domestic league does not yet own the market. NASL was not expected to be around just 2yrs go, it’s expanding.
        Take the DP salary away MLS is paying all player maybe a little over$50mil

      • Certainly a possibility, but I’m not sure how much of a threat a single team can pose to MLS, no matter how successful.

      • Cosmos already tried that business model. You left out the last step, though — collapse under own weight and drag entire league down with you.

    • Some of you people are delusional. Who is going to come play in NASL? This joke team that plays at Hofstra is going to get together a team good enough to win the Concacaf champions league? Please. Let’s stop the nostalgia for something that wasn’t that great in the first place. Let’s move on with the league we have now – that’s a million times better than NASL ever was.

  7. It seems it’s only a matter of time before the Cosmos are in MLS as well. Should be interesting to see NY with two teams and New Jersey with another.

  8. I’d hazard a guess the negotiations went like this,

    Cosmos: Sooo, Man City is moving sponsorship @ssets into NYC and expanding the Etihad Airways market tremendously.

    Air Emirates: How much do you want?

    Cosmos: Sign here.

  9. With Beckham and the Cosmos on the scene and the inevitable copy cats of Manchester City’s ownership means to me that promotion and relegation will someday be an inevitability. Unless, they want a 30 team top division.

  10. Find myself rooting for Cosmos I’m the NYC soccer wars. My dream scenario–RBNY merges with the Cosmos, so they can keep rbny as the regular jersey and stadium sponsor but with the Cosmos history and hopefully better management. Won’t happen but I wish there were a way to incorporate the Cosmos in the first division

    • Come on w/ that. No need! Metro lost so many fans when they became RB, why would that work? RB can work out there issue, acknowledge their Metro heritage( Henry does, see captains armband) put RB on kit. Let my team, NYCosmos build

      • the funny thing is ‘metrostars’ was just as much of a pandering sponsor name as ‘red bulls’ as metromedia was the owner in those days. I do think their brand has hurt them, its funny for all we hear about Garber being a “brand guy” from the NFL, he allows the Red Bulls, Chivas USA and ‘Real’ Salt Lake to exist on his watch.

      • I will say this, when it comes to the most fluid play, Real Salt Lake is the best in the league. Sure their name is cheesy, but I have to say they own it. Plus, anyone who knows anything about the Mormon Church knows that they think they are the new royalty of America. It is time to get over the Real Salt Lake name. Now, Dear MLS, move lets redo and restart Chivas. They are definitely becoming our leagues Clippers (Marlins at least find a way to win a championship every 10 years or so.)

      • Real Salt Lake have several financial connections and partnerships with Real Madrid (Youth Academy Sponsorship/Partnership, Joint Team Training etc) . Tenuous connection? Possibly, but it certainly doesn’t merit comparisons to and company with Red Bulls New York or Chivas USA.

    • I too have a sense of nostalgia for the Cosmos, but lets be real… club history? As what, the poster child for a poorly run, failed league? Cosmos as a team played a few years in a cheese-ball, shabbily run league against pitiful competition. It has a much richer tradition as a T-shirt brand than a soccer club. They’re masters of self promotion, the Khardashians of pro sports… famous for being famous. They’ve gotten incredible mileage out of marketing a logo and a brand based on packaging rather than substance. Would be great if they sold the name to a group interested in building a great SOCCER tradition rather than a brand, but they’ll ask way more than it is worth to a party interested in making its priority the product on the field.

      • Look at all stories on this blog about the Cosmos.
        Can count on it getting MOST comments. Why is that?
        Hmm, T-shirts must be selling well

      • True that. And Khardashians get top ratings too, don’t they. It’s exactly my point. But what are they selling? What are people responding too? Nostalgia. All Image. No content. Fair bet a good % of current day Cosmos supporters have never seen a single game. Personally, I think Cosmos is a cool retro brand, but…. ya know… at some point, you have to produce something, right… put a quality team on the field?

        Or do you?

        What the hell, lets grow out some killer side-burns/chops, put on our retro jerseys and go hit the bar, grab a Schlitz and watch ancient grainy highlights on a GE 21″ TV. I’ll wear my Chinaglia… you go Beckenbaur.

      • Pele and Beckenbauer on a team was substance. Blazing a trail by introducing soccer to most of the American public was substance.

    • So it is funny that the Cosmos accepted $50 and free uniforms ? Or are you just trying to rip on top notch soccer in the US.

      Don’t quite get your point…unless you are just clueless and think they are pulling in 50 large ( rather than $50.00 ) per year.

    • Let’s go through each club that doesn’t have a sponsor for their kit. Once we complete that objective, let’s compare their stadium with NY Cosmos stadium.

      Oh wait.

    • the Cosmos are just as likely to fold in 2 years IMHO. If they get it together and make progress on the stadium, maybe MLS is a possibility, but we’re talking alot more than 2 years.

      • Yep. If the Cosmos get their stadium built and have some success drawing fans, they might eventually go to MLS. But it won’t be for another 5-10 years at least. If I were NYCFC I’d make sure I had an exclusive deal with MLS ensuring that there won’t be a “third” NYC team in MLS for at least 5-10 years. Who would want to pay $100 million for a NYC MLS franchise only to have to share it with a third team in the market a few years later?

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