OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ivy Investments and Sporting Kansas City announced today the transition of a multifaceted partnership that began in 2013.
The 2020 Major League Soccer season will be the final year that Sporting Kansas City features Ivy Investments as the club’s jersey sponsor, concluding one of the longest and most distinguished MLS jersey sponsorships to date.
“Sporting has enjoyed an excellent partnership with Ivy Investments dating back to 2013 when we won MLS Cup and hosted the MLS All-Star Game,” Sporting Kansas City CEO and President Jake Reid said. “We are thankful to have shared countless special moments during this seven-year partnership, and we look forward to another successful year alongside Ivy in 2020. Looking further into the future, Sporting is excited to continue a strong relationship with Ivy through multiple platforms.
“As we transition into the next decade, Sporting has an exciting opportunity to begin a new jersey sponsorship with another esteemed partner. With the tremendous growth of Major League Soccer comes even greater excitement for what lies ahead, and we believe this new partnership will be one of the best and most unique in professional sports.”
“For the past seven years, our partnership with Sporting KC has been productive and positive,” said Brent Bloss, Chief Operating Officer, Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc., parent firm to Ivy Investments. “Our jersey sponsorship has been one of the longest in Major League Soccer to date, which speaks to the quality and caliber of our partnership. We greatly appreciate the value and visibility that Ivy and Sporting have shared for almost a decade and are excited and committed to fulfilling our contract through 2020.
“Looking beyond 2020, as part of our long-term vision, corporate growth strategy and community investment approach, we are realigning our strategic marketing investments. We remain committed to partnering with Sporting to ensure a smooth transition to a new jersey sponsor for the team in 2021. Even when our name is no longer on the jersey, we will continue to be one of Sporting Kansas City’s biggest fans.”
As the club’s first-ever jersey sponsor, Ivy Investments will have featured on each of Sporting’s last 11 primary or secondary MLS jerseys—including the new secondary kit set to debut in 2020. Sporting’s kits have received widespread acclaim over the last several seasons, establishing a reputation for supreme style in American soccer.
The Ivy Investments logo has also been showcased on numerous special-edition jerseys that Sporting Kansas City has unveiled to supporters, such as the adidas Parley jersey, Retro Top, Pride Top, Americana Top, Camo Top and Kick Childhood Cancer Top.
During its partnership with Ivy Investments, Sporting has won an MLS Cup title, two Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups, made six playoff appearances as a perennial conference contender and competed in four editions of the Concacaf Champions League, the premier club tournament in North America.
Major League Soccer has undergone remarkable growth over the last decade, swelling from 14 clubs in 2008 to the current 24-team setup in 2019. MLS has also announced expansion teams for Miami (2020), Nashville (2020), Austin (2021), St. Louis (2022) and Sacramento (2022) while holding expansion discussions with many other U.S. markets. New clubs are paying upwards of $200 million in expansion fees, up from $20-25 million 10 years ago.
In the stadium stands, MLS attendance more than doubled between 2008 (3.46 million) and 2018 (8.55 million). The league eclipsed 21,000 fans per match for the fifth straight season in 2019, surpassing both the NBA and NHL. MLS television viewership in the U.S. is up 6% year-over-year, and its matches are now broadcast in 90 different languages across 170 countries.
IVY INVESTMENTS® refers to the investment management and investment advisory services offered by Ivy Investment Management Company, the financial services offered by Ivy Distributors, Inc., a FINRA member broker dealer and the distributor of IVY FUNDS® mutual funds and IVY VARIABLE INSURANCE PORTFOLIOS℠, and the financial services offered by their affiliates.