By Paul Kennedy
Baby steps are first steps for National Women's Soccer League. At least four clubs that have signed jersey sponsorships for the new women's league that kicks off its first season on Saturday.
-- The Boston Breakers signed a partnership agreement with Ocean Spray Cranberries, which will be their official juice -- as well as jersey sponsor. "This is a fantastic partnership and hopefully one we can build on across the years," said Boston Breakers General Manager Lee Billiard in a statement. "We want to have large corporate companies be part of our Breakers brand and this is a great start, one I am sure will be beneficial for both parties." Boston-Based sports and entertainment agency Altus Marketing and Management brokered the deal.
-- FC Kansas City signed a three-year agreement with TITLE Boxing Club, founded in Overland Park, Kan., as the team’s jersey sponsor. The fitness center has locations in 27 states, including five of the eight NWSL states. “FC Kansas City fans and soccer fans in general lead an active lifestyle and are a perfect match for our fitness clubs," said Tom Lyons, one of TITLE Boxing Club’s founders, in a statement. "We strive to empower women and change lives like the National Women’s Soccer League is doing for these athletes.”
-- Providence Health & Services will be the primary jersey sponsor of Portland Thorns FC, as well as the presenting sponsor in the multi-year deal. Both home and away jerseys also feature a secondary sponsor logo from local retailer Parklane Mattresses on the back of the jersey.
-- Insurance provider Moda was introduced Thursday as the Seattle Reign FC jersey sponsor. The name will appear along with the Reign crest on royal blue home and white road kits.
THORNS LANDS RADIO DEAL. Portland Thorns FC will have all 11 home matches broadcast on Freedom 970 AM. Veteran sports broadcaster Ann Schatz will provide play-by-play with former University of Portland All-American goalkeeper Angela Harrison adding analysis as the broadcast team on Freedom 970 AM.
UNAWARE IN SEATTLE. At Thursday's Media Day, Seattle Reign FC owner Bill Predmore was asked how season-ticket sales were going ...
"I would say probably disappointed that we’re not further ahead on that. Probably part of that is just my expectations were too great going into in. But part of it, quite frankly, is we -- and by that I mean me -- have just not done a great job of building awareness for the club out there. People are still figuring who is the Reign is, what are we all about, so I think our biggest issue is just one of awareness."
MLS P.R. MOVES. Susan Marschall will be Major League Soccer's coordinator of sports communications, handling all soccer information activities, while Lauren Brophy will be manager of corporate communications, focusing on lifestyle publicity and analytics of media coverage, among other non-sports items.
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