Orlando Health puts name on two more jerseys
By Ian Thomas
Sports Business Journal – December 14, 2015
Orlando City SC has renewed and expanded its jersey sponsorship with Orlando Health, with the deal being extended to cover the team’s expansion NWSL Orlando Pride and USL Orlando City B clubs as well.
Orlando Health was Orlando City’s first sponsor as an MLS expansion team this year and has been the club’s jersey sponsor since its USL debut in 2011. The new deal, which adds two years to the existing agreement, calls for Orlando Health’s logo to appear on the jerseys of all three clubs through 2021.
The Pride and Orlando City B begin play next year.
Rob Parker, Orlando City’s vice president of corporate partnerships, said that when the organization discussed pursuing jersey partners for the new clubs, it concluded that Orlando Health would be the best choice if executives at the hospital felt the same way. The team wanted to provide some consistency across the three team brands.
At the same time, Orlando Health was discussing whether it should expand its presence in soccer to the new clubs. Parker said the hospital reached out to express interest even before the club had finished its discussions.
“It was great to hear that they were thinking the same way,” Parker said. “For us, to have a partner — who has been with us from day one, from USL to MLS — say they want to make a bigger commitment like this, we think it says a lot about what we’ve been able to do in just one season in MLS.”
Orlando Health officials see opportunities in the new Pride affiliation, in particular.
“We had such great success with the men’s team this year and such high brand exposure,” said Jackie Hayter, director of sports partnerships and marketing at Orlando Health. “The chance to work with a women’s team is a dream come true for us as an organization given our focus on women’s health, and we see this as a real opportunity to duplicate that success.”
Parker declined to comment on the financial details of the deal but agreed when asked whether the expansion and extension increased the overall size of the deal with Orlando Health.
MLS jersey sponsorships are typically valued between $2 million and $4 million a year. NWSL and USL deals are generally priced lower, with USL deals typically being in the low six figures annually, according to a source.
Parker said he expects additional deals for both the Pride and Orlando City B in the coming months, with potentially more of Orlando City’s partners deciding to further their relationship with the organization. The new teams figure to have their own individual partners as well.
Orlando City B is based in Melbourne, on Florida’s Atlantic coast, and will require less of a financial commitment for a sponsorship than the MLS club.
The Pride will begin play in 2016 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, like the MLS club, and then shift to the city’s new soccer stadium when it opens in the summer.
Parker said the Pride has high ambitions after acquiring U.S. women’s national team star Alex Morgan for its debut roster.
For the new stadium, Parker said Orlando City is talking with a number of national and international brands about naming-rights opportunities, both for the venue overall and for specific areas of the facility, such as clubs and gates. He declined to identify any targeted companies but said that a naming-rights partner for the full stadium would likely be a partner that was new to the club and that it might not be announced before the 2016 MLS season kicks off.