SBD/Issue 245/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Alaska Airlines Signs Deal To Sponsor MLS Timbers' Jerseys

Alaska Airlines Deal Also Includes Lead
Sponsorship Rights To Timbers' Youth Soccer

Alaska Airlines announced Thursday that it has signed a multiyear deal to sponsor the Portland Timbers as the team's official airline ahead of its MLS debut in '11. The deal includes a logo appearing on the team's jerseys, making Alaska Airlines the first airline jersey sponsor in the 15-year history of MLS. The Timbers in December will unveil their gameday uniforms and training wear featuring the logo (Alaska Air Group). The multiyear deal includes lead sponsorship rights to Timbers youth soccer camps (, 9/2). Timbers Owner Merritt Paulson said that the team “targeted Alaska as a potential major sponsor a long time ago.” Paulson: “We wanted to do a deal with a local company that has a big local presence.” He added that while the team “would prefer to develop sponsorships and partnerships with local businesses” such as its recent agreement with Burgerville, he “wouldn’t rule out a connection with a national company.” In Portland, Geoffrey Arnold noted the “other significant Timbers sponsorship still to be determined is the sale of naming rights” for their stadium. Portland General Electric's 10-year deal to sponsor the facility, currently a ballpark known as PGE Park, expires later this year. Team officials said that “they are in negotiations with a few businesses on that matter” (, 9/2). Paulson predicted that the team “will reach the 10,000-season ticket mark by the end of the year” (, 9/2).

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