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Volume 25 No. 198
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Ravens Reaching Out To Sponsors, Yet To Lose Any In Wake Of Ray Rice Scandal

The Ravens have been reaching out to team sponsors and “courting them anew” in an effort to “try to ensure that dozens of long-held relationships and the millions in revenue they provide remain intact” amid the ongoing controversy surrounding the team and former RB Ray Rice, according to a front-page piece by Jeff Barker of the Baltimore SUN. Team sponsor Southwest Airlines yesterday released a statement calling the “allegations of misconduct by NFL players ‘disturbing,’ adding that it was ready to ‘take prompt action,’ depending on the course of events.” The club, “which sent an open message to sponsors and fans Monday, wants to be certain its fabric of about 100 sponsors -- both local and national firms -- does not begin to unravel over questions surrounding its handling” of the Rice situation. Ravens VP/Corporate Sales & Business Development Kevin Rochlitz said that the club “would look for new opportunities to collaborate with Hopeline, a program of Verizon Wireless, a team sponsor." Under the program, "no-longer-used wireless phones, accessories and cash grants are donated to agencies aiding domestic violence victims.” Rochlitz said that “no sponsors have sought to end the relationship with the team in the aftermath of the Rice case.” Barker writes the Ravens' "history of success attracting sponsors" is a "primary reason why the team has seemed to overachieve in revenues and estimated market value." Baltimore "doesn't rank near the top half of NFL cities" in TV market size, but the team "often has ranked above the league median in annual revenues" (Baltimore SUN, 9/23). Rochlitz: "We're a great organization, we have a great owner, we have great integrity and we deliver great value for our partners" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 9/22).