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The Philadelphia Union have announced that Mexican food giant Bimbo has signed a $12 million deal to be the team's shirt sponsor for the next four years. It's a big deal for the year-old club considering that only 12 other MLS clubs have been able to secure shirt sponsorship deals. With sold-out season tickets, their own brand new arena and now a major sponsorship deal, the Union are in as good a financial position as almost any team in the league. The influx of cash should mean good things in the future for Union supporters.
While Bimbo is a Mexican company, the brands it owns are incredibly well known in the U.S. The company's portfolio includes Entenmann's, Stroehmann's & Arnold breads, Boboli and Thomas' English muffins. It also has strong local ties as its U.S. headquarters is located in Horsham, Penn. Bimbo is the fourth-largest food company in the world.
Bimbo is also heavily involved in sports marketing, specifically with soccer in its native Mexico. It sponsors four top tier Mexican soccer clubs. So for a lot of reasons, the company seems to be a great fit with the Union. That said, its logo clashes with the team's color scheme and bimbo doesn't mean the same in English as it does in Spanish. The new Union shirt might not be terribly popular with the ladies...
As The Brotherly Game points out, part of the deal also includes a major "Soccer Mom Of The Year" marketing initiative on the part of Bimbo which will be in retail across the country and will feature the Union. So not only does the team get $12 million out of the deal, they also get prominent placement in a national ad campaign by one of the biggest food companies in the world. Also, if you've ever vacationed in Mexico you've no doubt seen the Bimbo logo everywhere... so the sponsorship could also help expose the Union to local Mexican fan base which grew up on soccer.