SBJ/April 3 - 9, 2006/World Congress Of Sports

Mexican bakery Grupo Bimbo near L.A. soccer deal

Grupo Bimbo, the Mexican transnational corporate bakery whose 2005 net sales topped $5.2 billion, is negotiating a sponsorship with Major League Soccer’s Chivas USA and Los Angeles Galaxy teams as well as their shared stadium, the Home Depot Center.

MLS’s Don Garber (left), F-1’s Michael Payne (center)
and A-B’s Tony Ponturo
On a panel discussing global sports, MLS Commissioner Don Garber suggested that the company could be looking to purchase naming rights for the stadium.

“We just had Bimbo Bread, which is one of the largest baked-goods manufacturers in the world, spend time looking at opportunities here in the United States, looking at possibly buying the naming rights to one of our stadiums here in Los Angeles,” he said.

After the panel, Garber revised his comments, saying Grupo Bimbo is “in discussions for an integrated sponsorship agreement” with Chivas USA, the Galaxy and the Home Depot Center. Chivas USA spokesman Keegan Pierce said no deal had been completed.

Football Insider reported Jan. 13 that Grupo Bimbo signed a three-year, $7.8 million contract with Chivas Guadalajara for the rights to place its name on the team’s jersey. Chivas USA has sponsorship deals with Aero Mexico and Honda, Pierce said.

The Home Depot Center has no deals with companies based outside of the United States. The venue opened in 2003 with Home Depot as its naming-rights sponsor under terms of a 10-year, $70 million deal.

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