Astros Develop $40M "Community Leaders Program" Signature Sponsor Initiative
The Astros have developed a $40M "signature sponsor initiative called the Community Leaders Program that blends some of the club's largest sponsors with a significant civic revitalization effort," according to Eric Fisher of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Created by Astros Owner Jim Crane in conjunction with Houston Mayor Annise Parker, the Community Leaders Program "will feature 12 major corporate partners, each displayed on a new sign being constructed on the Minute Maid Park left-field light tower." That sign is "scheduled to be complete by July 20." Of the $40M in "combined sponsor commitments over a five-year period, $18 million will be earmarked to build and repair youth baseball and softball fields in disadvantaged Houston neighborhoods." Seven companies thus far have "signed on to the program, most of which are in the energy industry." The initial group of sponsors is National Oilwell Varco, Nabors Industries, Halliburton, BlueCross and Blue Shield of Texas, Calpine Corp., Champion Energy Services and Schlumberger. The other five companies are "expected to be in place by August, shortly after the sign is unveiled." The initial seven companies have previously held various levels of partnership with the Astros. Each is now "significantly increasing its spending level and community involvement with the team for deals that collectively will average" more than $4M per year. In total, upon full participation, the Astros' goal "is $8 million per year on average for the 12 partners in the Community Leaders Program for a five-year term" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/25 issue).