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USL Launches First League-Wide Licensing Program

By USL DIII Staff, 09/10/18, 10:40AM EDT

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Taps former MLS and Starter licensing executive Stu Crystal to lead the initiative

TAMPA, Fla. – Building off the continued success and growth of the United Soccer League, USL officials today announced they have launched a new league-wide licensing program aimed at delivering further fan engagement and support by providing more licensed Club products in the coming season. The league has tapped former Major League Soccer (MLS) and Starter licensing veteran Stu Crystal to lead the initiative.

The new program, which will also include USL Division III clubs, will look to streamline licenses for independent clubs to leverage opportunities of scale and deliver quality products for fans in each of the league’s markets. Initial efforts will focus on fan-facing categories including apparel, novelties and accessories, with opportunities to partner with industry-leading licensees in each category.

“As part of our continued growth, demand for club licensed products has increased significantly – doubling over the past two years,” said USL President Jake Edwards. “Through this new initiative, we hope to create opportunities to identify and partner with the best licensees to deliver first class products to our clubs’ fans across the country. We have already seen success in our partnership with Select as the official ball of the USL, and we look forward to Stu’s leadership in this important growth area for the league.”

“Interest in the program from the clubs and potential licensees thus far has been outstanding and speaks to the continued growth of the USL,” said Crystal, head of the Crystal Agency. “In addition, we will work with each of the clubs both at the USL and eventually USL D3 level to implement best practices, ensuring a consistent delivery of quality licensed products to further grow fan engagement and provide additional revenue for the clubs.”

Crystal has spent the past 25 years in the licensing and marketing business for several major sports entities, including 12 years at MLS where he oversaw the league’s licensing program, including its first single supplier agreement with adidas. He has also represented iconic athletes such as LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky for licensing programs through Upper Deck, as well as several prominent international soccer clubs like Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Real Madrid partnering with Edge Sports.

For more information about the USL Licensing Program, please contact the Crystal Agency at stu@cryage.com or (203) 298-9614.

About the Crystal Agency
The Crystal Agency provides strategic and tactical recommendations for companies in the sports industry along with management of licensing, sponsorship sales and marketing functions. Current clients include Madavor Media, Upper Deck, United Soccer League (USL), Las Vegas Lights FC and Fan Fave.

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