At long last, Sporting Kansas City have a shirt sponsor. Ivy Funds, a mutual fund manager, will reportedly pay Sporting KC $2.5 million a year..
"They offer us everything we wanted, with the key attribute being local," Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman said in a press release. "Local was always the thing that was going to be most important to us in a jersey sponsor and then innovation. Ivy Funds has proven that they're an innovator in their field. We wanted something that connected to our community in a large way and that's exactly what this relationship is going to allow us to do."
This is an undeniably positive development for Sporting KC and MLS. The big takeaway is that this leaves just the Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes as the only teams without shirt sponsors. This is also Sporting KC's first-ever sponsor, leaving the Rapids as the only team to never have one.
It also completes a rather dramatic turnaround for a franchise that just a few years ago was playing in front of tiny crowds at a minor league baseball stadium. Since Heineman bought the team, he has turned them into a real force in the Kansas City area. Their stadium is considered the jewel of MLS and they play in front of sellouts almost every game.
The dollar value on their sponsor might not be as much as other teams, but considering they play in one of the league's smallest markets, that's not really a huge surprise.