We have religiously followed the progress of Jen-Weld Field and the Timbers’ introduction to Major League Soccer. Years of hard work came to a head tonight in Portland where the former PGE Park opened to rave reviews. Here is a great tour of the new stadium offered through the league website.
The stadium looked and sounded great on the ESPN2 broadcast. The structure is unique in MLS and gave every appearance of being a great venue to watch a game. The fan sung national anthem was something to behold.
Portland has done a lot of things right in gearing up for their first season in MLS. On the sponsorship front, Alaska Airlines signed a multi-year deal to serve as the jersey sponsor of the team. The airline will be the first domestic carrier to sponsor an MLS team. The arrangement includes multi level digital advertising at the renovated PGE Park and a role in the Timbers’ youth set-up. Alaska Airlines employs approximately 2,300 employees in the Portland area.
Oregon based Jeld-Wen, Inc. will having naming rights to the facility. In addition to naming the park, the company will also be the official door and window provider to the team and will donate 25 tickets to each game to the Timbers’ Tix for Kids program. The company started in Oregon more than 50 years ago and brings important local flavor to the relationship with the team. The company employs approximately 2,500 people in the community.
On the marketing front, the Timbers embarked on an innovative marketing campaign. The ads feature Timbers’ fans in a series of poses and prominently features the Timbers logo. The ads are part of the “We are Timbers” campaign and represent an impressive effort to combine affordable marketing with a catchy slogan and fan involvement.