SBD/December 5, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Volkswagen Declines To Renew DC United Jersey Deal After Six Seasons

Volkswagen's deal was the second-most lucrative in MLS when it was signed

Volkswagen recently "declined to exercise an option" to remain as MLS DC United's jersey sponsor after the "iconic VW logo featured prominently on United’s shirts and across various levels of team branding" since '08, according to Steven Goff of the WASHINGTON POST. Volkswagen VP/Brand Communications Scott Vazin on Tuesday said, "Volkswagen has realigned its strategic sports marketing objectives and moved out of team level sponsorships. Volkswagen continues to work closely with D.C. United to explore alternative levels of involvement with the team." Goff noted the sides extended their deal for '13 under undisclosed terms, with VW "holding an option for '14." DC United's five-year deal with Volkswagen for $14M "was the second-most lucrative in MLS" behind the Galaxy’s pact with Herbalife. A source said that the club "set a higher price for long-term jersey sponsorship." DC United officials said that the sides "will likely maintain a business relationship on a smaller scale next season, with Volkswagen continuing to serve as the club’s automobile sponsor." Meanwhile, DC United VP/Business Development & Partnerships Mike Schoenbrun said the club is "getting closer" to reaching a deal with a new kit sponsor. He said that the club is "engaged in talks with six companies, all based in the United States but with global operations." He declined to name the candidates, but said the club is "on a good path" toward having a logo on the team's jersey next season (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 12/4).

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