Bimbo Deal Offers Competitive Benefit for Union
When Philadelphia Union and Bimbo Bakeries announced a four-year
partnership Tuesday that places Bimbo’s logo front and center on the club’s
jersey, the majority of attention centered around, naturally, the altered front of Philadelphia’s jersey.
The story that isn’t as overtly apparent is the
transformational value a deal of this magnitude carries. The impact will be both immediate
and lasting, effectively equating to a case study on the intertwinement of the business and competitive sides of soccer.
“This deal has a tremendous impact on every aspect of our
organization,” Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz told philadelphiaunion.com. “The financial
investment that Bimbo is making allows us to sign better players and invest in
our player development system, allows us to invest in practice facilities and improvements
to the stadium, allows us to do things on the financial side that we were maybe
holding off on or couldn’t do before.”
For a second year club still very much in the process of
building a foundation for sustained success, the resources acquired from multi-million
dollar partnerships with companies like Bimbo and PPL EnergyPlus are nothing
short of vital. There are also substantial opportunities for brand extension, a benefit that’s magnified with the club’s newest sponsor.
“Bimbo is going to take the Philadelphia Union brand to the
marketplace at retail, so in stores like Acme and ShopRite, Walmart and
Target, all these various retailers where Bimbo sells its products, there will
be a Philadelphia Union presence,” Sakiewicz continued. “So no longer will you
go into stores and only see the other teams featured – you’ll see the
Philadelphia Union brand featured. Very few companies have the power to do that in a dramatic way the
way Bimbo is going to do it. “
Beyond the retail activation component, Bimbo has an undeniably
global appeal, as evidenced by their presence on five soccer kits worldwide. That was no
small factor for an organization that has aspirations of being recognized as America's premier soccer brand.
“The other thing that Bimbo does for us is it elevates the
Philadelphia Union brand, not only nationally but internationally,” said
Sakiewicz. “You’re talking about a company that has a rich heritage of soccer
in their blood. They’re on the front of two of soccer’s most illustrious and
prestigious teams, Club America and Chivas Guadalajara, a third Mexican club,
Monterrey, and Costa Rican power Saprissa. So this is a company
that is very deeply rooted in soccer, which is going to help the Union brand
nationally, from coast to coast, as well as overseas.”
In the minds of fans, though, brand awareness takes a
backseat to on-field production. So while the value of Philadelphia’s jersey
deal extends far beyond the white lines, it’s fair to wonder exactly how soon the
impact will be felt where it matters most.
“It’s direct,” Sakiewicz said. “In about a week fans will
begin to see the impact of this partnership because we’re going to be
announcing some significant player signings.”
Not a bad early return on a partnership that will pay
significant dividends for years to come.
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