In the latest example of how the Seattle Sounders have found new ways to monetize what used to be Xbox’s nearly all-encompassing sponsorship, the team announced on Wednesday that it has added CHI Franciscan as their training top sponsors. This marks the first time in Sounders history that their training tops will have a separate sponsor from their gameday jerseys.
During their first 10 years in MLS, Xbox was splashed across nearly every prominent space the Sounders had. That included the gameday and training jerseys, the CenturyLink Field pitch and the tarps — what the team calls the “Green Zone.” When the Sounders unveiled Zulily as their primary sponsor, it was noted that their deal was already more lucrative than what Xbox was paying for everything. Premera Blue Cross had been previously announced as the Sounders’ “presenting” sponsor, which included the tarps as well as branding on all of the elements surrounding the “10 years in MLS #SFC10” celebration.
CHI Franciscan’s sponsorship of the training tops leaves the naming rights to the pitch as the last big-ticket item the Sounders have yet to sell.
All together, the Sounders have likely already added at least a couple million dollars per year — and quite possibly more — to a sponsorship that had previously been worth close to $5 million annually.
There are more sponsors still to come that will likely push the total package into eight figures annually, as the Sounders are expected to announce plans for an upgraded training facility sometime this year. That announcement is likely to include a new sponsor as well.