A press release sent out by Women’s Professional Soccer on Monday stated that the league “is projecting that four of eight teams will feature a jersey partnership this season with logos on the front of their uniforms – a two-fold increase on last year.”
I broke the news on Sky Blue FC’s new deal with the Somerset Medical Center in early February, and I also know that the Atlanta Beat and Washington Freedom are working on securing deals. The fourth team is a bit of a mystery, although the most logical speculation would point to FC Gold Pride thanks to the addition of Marta. Will Amway follow her to the Bay Area? Your guess is as good as mine right now, but it might make sense.
Freedom General Manager Mark Washo recently chatted about some of the business of WPS, including ticket sales and sponsorship. He was pretty candid in talking about the Freedom’s stance on a presenting sponsor.
“We are definitely working on a presenting sponsor for the front of our jersey,” Washo said. “We have been holding our ground because we feel like it commands a certain value.”
Washo and his staff in Washington have analyzed the number of media impressions that a sponsor on the front of the team’s jersey last year would have received – every single appearance on television, the internet, print media and so on. The number is equivalent to over $1.2 million worth of advertising.
“We aren’t asking for that money, but we feel that at that number of impressions, we are out looking to get an appropriate value for it,” he said.
The Freedom are looking for a fully integrated presenting sponsor, meaning the company would be involved in everything that has to do with the team. An example of that is just down the road in Volkswagen’s sponsorship of D.C. United.
Washo said that he is confident that a deal could come together in the next few months, so do not think that teams cannot add sponsors to the kit after the season starts.
Sky Blue FC is still the only WPS team to put pen to paper on a presenting sponsorship deal, but expect to hear some things out of Atlanta and Washington in the coming weeks and months. The speculated fourth team (on the basis of the league’s press release) would logically be FC Gold Pride, but that remains a mystery. Either way, the upward trend of sales and sponsorship is only continuing for WPS teams.
Also of note is the league’s continued push to secure a league-wide sponsor for the back of each team’s jersey.
“The league is optimistic about securing a league-wide jersey sponsorship for the 2010 season,” a league spokesperson said. “It’s something the league and its marketing partner, SUM, have worked very hard on during this past off-season.”
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