Not exactly a gripping headline when stating the obvious. But this month the Sounders announced they’re seeking a new naming rights partner, perhaps most prominently for the jersey. The current deal with Microsoft, extended multiple times since the inaugural MLS season in 2009, expires at the end of the 2018 season. Adrian Hanauer acknowledged in media reports covering the story that the team doesn’t earn much revenue from its TV deal (currently with Q13 FOX). One can infer the radio deal (97.3 KIRO-FM) doesn’t bring in much either.
So this upcoming naming rights negotiation represents a big opportunity for the club to grow its revenues. Maybe better media deals will follow. All will only further boost a team value that Forbes pegs at $295M, good for second in the league.
Notably, the Mariners are currently looking for a new stadium naming rights partner, while OVG reportedly is already seeking corporate sponsors for its proposed KeyArena remodel. We’ll see how the final deals shake out in terms of value compared to league peers and whether the teams stay local when finding their partners. There’s no better time than now to explore opportunities in the thriving Puget Sound region. And for the defending MLS Cup champs, seemingly a lot of runway to grow the business.