Sporting KC names VML as marketing partner

07/21/2014 8:53 AM

07/21/2014 2:27 PM

Sporting Kansas City on Monday named another hometown company to its partnership roster.

The professional soccer team added Kansas City-based VML as its official marketing partner. The three-year partnership launches this week and formalizes a business relationship that has existed for many years between the two organizations, the soccer club said in a statement.

No financial terms were revealed.

Under the arrangement, VML will provide strategic planning and consulting to develop sponsorships and other business tie-ins. Sporting said it will provide “access to a mix of assets including hospitality, experiential marketing opportunities and signage” at Sporting Park, its state-of-the-art stadium in Kansas City, Kan.

Jamie Guin, Sporting’s vice president of corporate partnerships, said the alignment will benefit both local organizations.

“We feel like we’re innovative in both of our respective industries,” he said. “The sky’s kind of the limit.”

Sporting Park offers 150 free Wi-Fi access points, more than 300 high definition televisions and two main video stadium video boards. The club said it ranks first in Major League Soccer in Twitter followers, Facebook likes and Instagram likes, per capita, and ranks in the top three clubs in fan engagement per month across each social media platform.

“Together, VML and Sporting Kansas City will offer the ability to leverage innovative technology to not only engage consumers, but advance partner integration into that engagement in new and exciting ways,” Chuck Searle, chief client officer at VML.

Sporting has partnerships with several other Kansas City area companies, including the Ivy Funds, the Roasterie, Boulevard Brewing Co. and Price Chopper.

VML has more than 1,900 employees and offices in 25 locations in six continents. In recent years, the company has expanded its consumer entertainment, sports and promotions business. One of its clients is U.S. Soccer, which is the governing body for soccer in the United States. Other clients include Gatorade, Cobra-Puma Golf, Coors and Coors Light, Napa Auto Parts and Wendy’s.

To reach Steve Rosen, call 816-234-4879 or send email to srosen@kcstar.com.

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