Soccer Business: Banks Galore and More

Over the last couple of days, both of Major League Soccer’s 2011 expansion teams have made key “Founding Partner” announcements involving local banking institutions.  The Portland Timbers announced that Key Bank will be the exclusive banking partner of the Timbers starting in 2011.  The relationship will include a Key Bank Club and Plaza at the Timbers’ newly renovated home. The Key Bank Club wiull be located at midfield and will include a full service restaurant and indoor/outdoor seating areas.

Not to be outdone, Vancouver announced BMO as its initial founding partner.  The four year deal will focus on the Whitecaps youth soccer initiatives and will give BMO a relationship with both of Canada;s MLS franchises.  The relationship will include opportunities for more than 100 local youths to participate in events surrounding Whitecaps home matches at the newly renovated BC Place.  Speaking of the Vancouver, the team also stated that the team has surpassed 15,000 season ticket deposits this week.  Given historical conversion rates of deposits, this figure bodes well for 2011 Whitecaps attendance.

Finally, kudos to ESPN for its rotating studio show in MLS pre-games.  They’ve relied up on Angel, McBride and Twellman in the last couple of weeks and the variety has added to the show.  So far, Bretos and Lalas have been willing to ask the tough questions of the players to which fans want answers.