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Volume 23 No. 18
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Orlando SC hires firm for stadium activations

Dimensional Innovations will help sponsors with their creative elements at the new stadium.
Rendering: COURTESY OF ORLANDO CITY SC

With its new soccer-specific stadium scheduled to open for the 2017 MLS season, Orlando City SC has selected Kansas-based Dimensional Innovations to design, fabricate and install several sponsorship activations in the stadium.

The firm and the team are focusing on three areas in the stadium: Walt Disney World’s main gate naming rights, a MetroPCS-branded corner area with both seats and space for activation, and an Audi-branded, high-end, all-inclusive club space.

“Now that we’re at the stage in stadium construction where walls are up and things are becoming more tangible, we wanted to bring someone in who could spend their time focusing on the partners and driving their creative there, but also understand our brand and what we want to do on the fan experience side,” said Rob Parker, vice president of corporate partnerships at Orlando City.

Populous is the architect of the 25,500-seat stadium and Icon Venue Group is the project manager. Construction costs have been estimated at $155 million. Financial terms of this deal were not disclosed.

Parker said they have been working closely with their partners to give them a voice in building out the individual areas.

For founding partner Disney, digital screens and other interactive elements providing both team and Disney-related content will be the focal point of the installation at the gate.

The MetroPCS corner will feature 26 seats, as well as an activation and engagement area behind them. Parker said that area could be used in a number of ways, including for tablet displays or as a charging area, and the seats will be used as an added retail driver for the company’s local stores.

The Audi Sport Club will have its own dedicated entrance and feature an air-conditioned space with all-inclusive food and beverage as well as 78 reserved outdoor seats.

Parker said Orlando City is also working with Dimensional Innovations on designing two other stadium spaces — a branded corner akin to the one MetroPCS holds, as well as one for the other club section in the stadium — and is in the market having discussions with potential partners for those spaces.

Orlando City has seen close to 30 percent growth in sponsorship revenue this year tied to new sponsor deals signed going into the new stadium. Parker said he expects at least another 30 percent growth next year as well because the team now can sell inventory that it previously couldn’t as a tenant in Camping World Stadium, such as pouring rights and club spaces.

Parker declined to comment on specific sponsorship revenue figures, but noted that despite those inventory restrictions, Orlando City is in the top half of sponsorship revenue across MLS, and expects to be in the top quarter next season.

The team is still working on securing a stadium naming-rights deal, and Parker said he is confident one will be done by the venue’s opening. The team is also in the marketplace looking for deals in the commercial banking, auto insurance and airline categories.

Justin Wood, sports practice director for Dimensional Innovations, who worked in a similar role at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta as well as with the Minnesota Vikings at the new U.S. Bank Stadium, said the company is hoping its work in Orlando City opens up more opportunities in soccer.

“I think when you look at the demographics of MLS fans, their interest in creative, dynamic content, and the culture around MLS and their fans, it’s a really exciting, growing area,” he said.