Prior to start of the club’s inaugural season in MLS, LAFC lined up an impressive list of partners.
Club and Heineken agree on multiyear sponsorship agreement.
Los Angeles, California (August 13, 2017) – Based on article by Chris Smith, Forbes Staff, with edits by Kenneth Russo
MLS expansion club LAFC has yet to play a game, but the team is already scoring big. In July the team signed Bob Bradley as head coach, and last week LAFC brought on its first designated player in Mexican star Carlos Vela. The latest team signing is a corporate deal with Heineken, which has agreed to a multi-year partnership to be the team’s beer sponsor.
LAFC president Tom Penn says the team has drawn tremendous interest from prospective corporate sponsors, and that teaming up with Heineken was a no-brainer. “They’re a global brand, they’re very active in football all around the world, and they’re a major league partner,” says Penn, “They’re authentically into the soccer space globally, and that matters.”
Heineken is a league-level sponsor of MLS, as well as an individual team sponsor with eight other MLS clubs, including the likes of New York City FC, Orlando City SC and D.C. United.
Los Angeles was one of two of the league’s last major markets without local representation from Heineken.
“When we knew that MLS would be expanding to Los Angeles with a team in addition to the Galaxy, we really thought it was a great opportunity for us to have a little bit more of a local presence with soccer in the market,” says Pattie Falch, Heineken USA’s director of sponsorships and events.
What Is In The Sponsorship Agreement
The long-term deal grants Heineken both local and domestic beer categories for the team, as well as the use of a player in marketing and promotional activities. The partnership also includes IP rights, an immersive stadium brand experience, digital signage, retail activation and unique fan engagement.
Bar At Top Of 3252 Supporters Section
Additionally, LAFC’s $350 million stadium will feature an elevated deck reserved for supporters that will be designed and branded by Heineken.
Heineken and LAFC’s 3252 Supporters Union collaborated on the design elements at the Bar At Banc of California Stadium – the first-ever supporters dedicated bar at the top of a supporters’ section. It is just what the supporters asked for. Not having to leave the match to grab a pint was one of the most important point supporters wanted to get across in the design process. With the bar located just several steps from the top of the north end, even those pouring the drinks have a largely unencumbered view of the pitch.
Falch notes that Heineken has already been working closely with the team’s supporters club, which gives it a unique advantage: “It allows us to build a relationship from day one, which is something that you don’t really get to do with teams that are in the league and more established when we come on as a sponsor.”
Heineken’s previous MLS sponsorships are part of a broader push into the North American soccer space, and that extensive involvement and successful track record have helped build a brand that teams seem eager to work with. Says Penn: “When we met with their leadership, they cared about the same things that we cared about. It makes it more of a partnership than a sponsorship.”
Link to original article: Heineken Partners With LAFC For Debut Season And Beyond
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