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Volume 21 No. 2
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Hot Seahawks add Boeing, Starbucks deals

Boeing and Starbucks are the newest corporate partners of the Seattle Seahawks as the NFL team looks to lean on its newfound national popularity to stimulate deals.

Locally based Boeing gets branding on the Seahawks’ news conference backdrop under the deal, along with permanent signage for all events at CenturyLink Field.

Seahawks tackle Russell Okung shows off Boeing’s new backdrop for news conferences.
Starbucks, another longtime Seattle corporate stalwart, gets exclusivity in the tea and coffee categories, something not to be undervalued in Seattle. The coffee bean seller and brewer gets exclusive rights to sell coffee within CenturyLink Field, which it will do within all concession stands and in 18 portable “coffee stations” set up on game days. Starbucks is also supporting the “Better Seattle” anti-gang initiative, in which the team and coach Pete Carroll have been involved.

The normally sponsorship-shy Starbucks is also planning to activate with a Seahawks-themed retail promotion at its many local stores, something unheard of for America’s top coffee retailer.

“We’ve been on a push to attract more sponsors looking for national exposure and to take advantage of the growing popularity of our team,” Seahawks President Peter McLoughlin said.  The Seahawks were one of the league’s surprise success stories last year and are scheduled to be on four national TV games this year.

The news conference backdrop exposure for Boeing, which McLoughlin said will generate 250 million annual television impressions, began with the opening of training camp. He said the multiyear deal makes Boeing one of the team’s five largest corporate sponsors. While Boeing’s support is not a brand play, McLoughlin said that with 80,000 local employees, it is about “employee morale and supporting the overall community, because enthusiasm for this team is at a high, which is saying a lot out here.”

He added that after the ascension of quarterback Russell Wilson last season and the team’s run in the NFC playoffs, ticket demand is higher than ever in a town that’s always Seahawks crazy. Season-ticket renewal, at 98 percent, and the 62,000 season tickets sold both represent franchise highs, McLoughlin said.

An additional allotment of 3,500 single-game tickets, which went on sale Monday, sold out in a day.

Boeing and Starbucks are two of the larger brand names in a sponsorship portfolio that will see revenue increase 15 percent to 18 percent this season, McLoughlin said.

The Seahawks’ press backdrop had been sponsored by Oberto Beef Jerky, another Seattle company, which will continue as a Seahawks sponsor.