Soccer Business Bits: Hello Jeld-Wen, Direct Kick & First Kick

The Portland Timbers became the latest MLS franchise to announce a stadium rights partnership when the team revealed that Oregon based Jeld-Wen, Inc. will having naming rights to the newly renovated facility in Portland.  The facility will now be known as JELD-WEN field.  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. The official press release is here.

MLS has announced the return of its Direct Kick package for 2011.  Price at $79, the package offers fans access to more than 220 games during the season and select playoff games.  This is a significant increase in games over previous years (as there are now more games being played).  As has been the case in previous years, the package will be offered as a free preview during the opening weekend of games.  The package will be offered through cable outlests as well as the major satellite providers.  It is unclear whether Verizon and ATT U-Verse.

Finally, Tuesday night is “First Kick” for the 2011 Major League Soccer season.  The match between Seattle and Los Angeles will be broadcast on ESPN2.  CORRECTION: THE GAME WILL BE ON ESPN.  We will provide a “business blog” duing the game which we will post when the game is concluded.