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D.C. United Announces 2003 Season Sponsors

April 17, 2003 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - D.C. United News Release

CHANTILLY, VA (April 17, 2003) – D.C. United announced today the club’s corporate partners for the 2003 Major League Soccer season. The announcement marks the second consecutive season that the Black-and-Red is on pace to achieve at least 20 percent growth in sponsorship revenue. United has already exceeded last season’s revenue and is within reach of the second highest revenue total ever, falling behind only the 2000 season when the club came off its triumphant third MLS Championship in four years.

“United has worked fervently to find corporate partners with whom we can aggressively co-market products and services,” said United Senior Vice President and General Manager Stephen Zack. “The presence of our 2003 sponsors is yet another example of the dramatic growth of our club in the business community and of the marketing power of soccer. I encourage our fans to support these companies who so actively support the sport of soccer.

The roster of new sponsors for the 2003 season consists of some of the most recognizable brands in the D.C. metro area, including Kohl’s Department Stores, Outback Steakhouse, and locally-based GEICO, title sponsor of United’s home opener on April 19th. McDonald’s also makes a return in sponsoring the Black-and-Red for a fourth season after a one-year hiatus in 2002. The remaining list of new sponsors showcases a mixture of industries including the D.C. Department of Health–HIV/AIDS Administration, DirecTV, Miller & Long and n-tieractive, Inc.

Returning sponsors include: D.C. Lottery (seventh season); Delta Air Lines, Giant Food and United Bank (fifth seasons); Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (third season); Marriott, Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, Starpower, and SuiteAmerica (second seasons).

D.C. United, is also assisted locally by several of Major League Soccer’s Official National Sponsors, specifically adidas, Budweiser (both in their fifth seasons as local sponsors), and RadioShack, in their debut season. Each of these companies provides incremental local media and promotional support.

Due to recent marketplace feedback, the club worked in the off-season to increase its reach through various programs and media opportunities. Last month, United announced a partnership agreement with WMET as their first-ever English Radio broadcast partner, the addition of two stations to its Hispanic Radio Network, and a collaboration with Washington, DC’s local Univision channel, WMDO 30, to air a new weekly television show, “D.C. United en Accion.” Each of these elements has contributed to the team’s ability to attract new sponsors.

Additionally, existing youth-based promotional platforms have enlisted increased support this season, with Kohl’s, Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and McDonald’s sponsoring the team’s mobile marketing vehicle, the DCU Fan Cruiser, and Outback Steakhouse teaming with Kohl’s and Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association as sponsors of the free D.C. United Youth Fan Club.

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