So the Sounders have extended their partnership with Xbox for one year.
A month ago I posted something about this here: http://www.sounderatheart.com/2013/8/6/4593434/this-is-how-we-will-pay-for-clint-dempsey
In hindsight I had probably been drinking before I wrote it, but despite my insistence on work-night imbibing (why? no clue) it looks like I was correct. Here's the latest from Don Ruiz: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer/
What I think is interesting is that this puts our next new jersey deal in line with our next new jerseys, which will come out for the 2015 season. Is this important enough to extend Xbox just one year, or could they not find anyone else? They have hired a firm (CAA Sports) to "explore opportunities in the marketplace," but with this being such a huge partnership I wouldn't be surprised if they just extended with Xbox to give themselves more time. But who knows.
What I do know is this: no matter who the next deal is with, it will be huge. The Sounders have positioned their brand very well so far, and partnerships are so much more than the jersey. The new deal will involve pitch naming, stadium signs, sponsoring MLS charities, community involvement, web and app advertising, and probably some new ideas the front office is dreaming up. If you care about the business side of the club at all, get excited about where this is going after the 2014 season.