D.C. United announced on Friday a partnership with Sunderland AFC of the Barclays Premier League that will benefit each side through promotion and expertise.
The two clubs will work together help to promote the D.C. United brand in over 200 countries and engage with a worldwide audience, and give Sunderland increased exposure in North America.
“Interest in football is growing massively in the USA ... This is a major step forward for Sunderland AFC and a really exciting development for us in the U.S. marketplace," said Sunderland commercial director Gary Hutchinson.
D.C. United Chief Operating Officer Tom Hunt said United is "very excited" for the opportunity, and said the partnership will see the teams "share best practices on both the technical and commercial side."
Sunderland and U.S. striker Jozy Altidore showed support for the new partnership on Sunderland's Twitter feed:
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United is currently gearing up for the second half of its MLS season, while Sunderland's 2014-15 Premier League campaign begins Aug. 16.
- Molly Geary