USL Club Sacramento Republic FC's New Jersey Sponsorship Deal Key To MLS Bid
USL club Sacramento Republic has signed a binding five-year deal with UC Davis Health for a potential MLS jersey sponsorship. The deal is believed to be the first time that any MLS expansion bidder has secured this kind of agreement prior to being granted a franchise by the league. UC Davis Health has been the club’s jersey sponsor since it launched in '14. Financial terms were not disclosed, but sources said that it would rank in the upper-third across the league in terms of jersey sponsorship revenue, further showcasing the level of corporate support in Sacramento. It is estimated that MLS jersey deals are valued between $2-4M annually, and are usually the largest sponsorship deals secured by the clubs. The MLS BOG will vote on its next two expansion markets in December (Ian Thomas, Staff Writer). In Sacramento, Ryan Lillis noted the deal is "particularly key to the city’s bid, as kit deals are often the most lucrative sponsorships secured by MLS clubs -- even larger than stadium naming rights." Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said, “This partnership pairs two of Sacramento’s strongest ambassadors, and sends an unequivocal signal that Sacramento is a major league city" (SACBEE.com, 10/16). Also in Sacramento, Ben van der Meer noted the agreement "calls for UC Davis Health and Sac Republic to allocate at least $300,000 for community-based programs focused on youth wellness, neighborhood outreach, public health clinics and youth sports clinics" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 10/16).