SBJ/20090907/This Week's News

First down, UFL: StubHub signs as initial sponsor

The United Football League has signed its first sponsorship deal, with secondary ticket provider StubHub.

In addition to ticketing services and traditional sponsorship visibility, StubHub receives with the deal a presence on the front of the helmets of the Florida Tuskers, one of the league’s four teams. The UFL hopes to secure sponsors for placement on its other teams’ helmets, as well.

The name of the helmet manufacturer, Riddell, which traditionally appears on its helmets’ front-center space, will be on the back of the Tuskers’ helmets.

“Ticketing was only [part of this],” said Frank Vuono, the league’s chief operating officer. “It’s more sponsorship and brand related.”

Vuono also emphasized the importance for the league of adding credible companies.

“We are not selling to Chico’s Bail Bonds here,” he said.

The UFL kicks off its first season next month with four teams and 13 games. The league views itself not as a competitor to the NFL but rather as essentially a football minor league.

The UFL, which is receiving a six-figure annual rights fee in the multiyear deal, will be featured on StubHub’s Web site for cross-promotions and for co-branded incentive programs, details of which are not complete. StubHub will be included on the UFL’s on-field LED rotational signage and will receive commercial space on the league’s Versus and HDNet broadcasts.

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