SBD/November 13, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

AFL Signs Title Sponsorship With Prepaid Cell Phone Company Net10 Wireless

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The Arena Football League has signed a one-year title sponsorship deal with Net10 Wireless for the '13 season. The prepaid cell phone company last season sponsored national broadcasts of the AFL on NFL Network, but will become the league’s first title sponsorship for the upcoming season. Net10 Wireless did not use a sports marketing agency and handled the deal directly with the league. “Net10 Wireless is now integrated with the entire AFL,” said AFL Commissioner Jerry Kurz, adding that the league-wide deal includes in-arena and on-field branding for the company. Kurz also said that the AFL will field 14 teams for the '13 season, compared with 17 teams in '12. The league has contracted the Georgia Force and K.C. Command, and will shut down the Milwaukee Mustangs franchise in '13 to return for the '14 season. Kurz added that the AFL has renewed its league deals with Russell Athletic, Spalding and Riddell. The AFL said that it plans to play an undetermined number of exhibition games in China next year in addition to a future 10-game schedule in the country.

NEW TV HOME: CBS Sports Network signed a deal to carry AFL games for the next two years. The cable channel will have 19 regular-season games and two playoff games starting next season. The league's championship game, ArenaBowl, will air on the CBS broadcast network. Next year's championship game is scheduled for 1:00pm ET on Aug. 17. CBS Sports Network will carry the AFL games in primetime on Saturday nights. NFL Network had held AFL rights since '10 and carried the games on Friday nights.
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