Corporate sponsorships are the name of the game, and while the Fire already benefits from sponsorship money from the likes Anheuser-Busch, Verizon Wireless and Toyota (as part of its naming rights to the team's stadium), a front jersey sponsorship has thus far eluded the club. That said, Blanco's pending arrival has changed things: "The tone of our conversations with corporate America since [Blanco] signed has changed significantly," Guppy said. "I don't think I'm overstating it when I say that the Chicago Fire is becoming one of the most important sports brands for the Hispanic community."
Hispanic market experts agree. "[Blanco] brings a different dimension to the game," said Leo Olper, chief operating officer of Lapiz Integrated Hispanic Marketing in Chicago. "He's like Dennis Rodman - a great player, but there's a whole sideshow that goes with him." And his current run of good form doesn't hurt either: Blanco-like Beckham-has enjoyed something of a resurgence, bagging an impressive 9 goals and 7 assists for Club America in the Mexican Clausura Championship this spring.