- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On January 20, 2012
- 4 Comments
- Features, Kit Sponsors
When the Chicago Fire announced Quaker Oats as their new jersey sponsor earlier this week (I swear that one is growing on me by the day), the news left four clubs without a sponsor.
The Colorado Rapids, the Columbus Crew, FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City all have holes in their jerseys – well metaphorically speaking.
Right now there are no real updates on any of these four clubs in where they stand at getting a kit sponsor. That isn’t the type of post I am writing up for you all today. Locally for me in Dallas, I know the Hoops have been working for a couple seasons at finding the right brand to be on their jersey. They came super close last year only to have the company that they were working with back out at the last minute thanks to a CEO change.
Kit sponsors are big deals for MLS clubs. They help with paying salaries for one. I’ve had a couple teams tell me in the past that the jersey sponsor deals go a long way in keeping costs down for a season. It doesn’t put teams in the green on the financial books but it does help.
We know those four have struggled at finding a sponsor. The brand has to match what the club feels as the right feel for the team. It’s possible that Chicago has hit a home run with Quaker. It’s a local brand that is well known. That’s what clubs like to go for – well known brands – that have strong local ties. Chicago is doing it with Quaker, Philadelphia did it with Bimbo.
Now, not all clubs go for the local brand. VW sponsoring D.C. United isn’t a local company but one that works on a global scale.
But where does Colorado, Columbus, Dallas and KC go? We know they are all losing out on money as we speak. So who could step in and help them out? Below are some companies worth exploring for each club, along with other current sponsors that could step up. More than likely all are long-shots for each side but you never know.
Colorado Rapids: Finding a strong brand for the Rapids isn’t easy. Many folks have been pining over getting someone like Coors as a kit sponsor. Big time brand like Coors would be a big fish to land for the Rapids and MLS. But having Budwiser as a league sponsor has probably always hurt the chances of Rapids landing them.
Other possible companies for the Rapids: Western Union (located in Eaglewood), DISH Network (Eaglewood), and MapQuest (large offices in Denver)
Columbus Crew: The Crew were one of the first in the league to have a sponsor with Glidden Paint. Ohio is home to many large corporations that would work perfectly for MLS and the Crew. I’d personally love to see someone like Kroger’s (grocery store), Nationwide/Progressive (insurance), or FifthThird Bank. Two of those three are current sponsors for the club as it is while Nationwide or Progressive probably would have problems seeing how Allstate is a big USSF backer.
Other possible companies for the Crew: Goodyear Tire (located in Akron), Sherwin-Williams (Cleveland), or Value City Furniture.
FC Dallas: FCD already has a bunch of sponsors but two that could step up and be huge for the club would be Dr. Pepper or Subaru. I’ve always thought though that if Southwest Airlines could step up and be a bigger partner for the club that it could transition well into a jersey sponsor. But again, its all long-shot talk here. FCD has been extremely picky over which company to put on their jersey and that has probably caused a few of these bigger companies in the DFW area to back out.
Other possible companies for FCD: AT&T (located in Dallas), Baylor Health Care System (Dallas), or Gamestop (Grapevine – a Dallas suburb)
Sporting KC: This is one club I’m still shocked to not see a brand on their kits. But I do believe they are next in line to do so. Question is who though? Two companies come to mind, Sprint and Pepsi. Both are current club sponsors and both would be big brands that would look good on those SKC unis.
Other possible companies for SKC: AMC Entertainment (located in KC), H&R Block (KC), or Dairy Farmers of America (KC).
(Naturally this post was meant to suggest some companies and is in no way saying any of these companies are great fits for the four clubs. I thought it would be a fun debate, feel free to leave your suggestions for each side below)