Crew announces additions and renewals of corporate partnerships in Columbus

Black & Gold add and continue partnerships with several Central Ohio organizations

Crew Stadium

Photo Credit: 
TheCrew.com

COLUMBUS – The Columbus Crew announced that Chipotle, Koorsen Fire & Security, ReVision and Windows have entered corporate partnerships with the Crew in 2014. The Black & Gold have also renewed partnerships with CheckSmart, Columbia Gas, G&J Pepsi, Kroger, Medical Mutual and Modelo. The agreements strengthen both the club’s and its partners’ brand presence in the Columbus community and at Crew Stadium. Further details of the terms of the renewal agreements were not disclosed.

“We are proud that these new and returning partners recognize the excitement and opportunity surrounding this new era of Crew soccer,” said Chris Previte, Crew Vice President of Corporate Partnerships. “Our partners share the vision of our ownership to grow the presence of the Crew brand in Central Ohio and throughout the region.”

Chipotle is a new partner with the Columbus Crew in 2014 as the “Official Fast-Casual Mexican Restaurant of the Crew and MLS” and is the presenting sponsor of the first-ever Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game during the AT&T MLS All-Star Week in August. With the Crew, Chipotle receives field board signage, digital assets and an in-stadium promotion featuring local youth soccer players as the “Chipotle Youth Homegrown Athlete” during (10) Crew home matches. Additionally, a buy-one-get-one-free promotion with Central Ohio stores kicked off the opening match, and a text-to-win fly-away promotion to the Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game and AT&T MLS All-Star Game are set to take place. Finally, sponsorship of a youth soccer clinic and hospitality is highlighted by Crew Homegrown player Wil Trapp.

“At the core of our effort to change the way people think about and eat fast food is our commitment to finding better, more sustainable sources for all of the ingredients we use,” said Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle’s chief marketing and development officer. “That value is one that is often shared by people with an active lifestyle. This partnership with MLS will allow us to further engage consumers in a sport we have long supported through grassroots efforts.”

Koorsen Fire & Security is a new partner of the Columbus Crew in 2014. They have a presence on Crew radio broadcasts, including the Koorsen Fire & Security Standings Update. In addition to sponsoring the popular “Black & Gold Breakdown” digital feature on TheCrew.com, they also have LED signage in the stadium and hospitality elements.

“The Columbus Crew have been a fantastic partner, and we are so excited to show our support through our sponsorship this year,” said Dale Underwood, District Manager of Koorsen Fire & Security. “The Crew is such a great asset to our city and we feel honored to be in a position where we are capable of cheering them on in a big way.”

The Crew's “Official LASIK Provider” is ReVision, partnering with the Crew players and front office. Headed into the 2014 season, ReVision teamed with Homegrown Players Wil Trapp and Matt Lampson to improve their vision and change the way they see the game.

"We at ReVision pride ourselves on excellence, and that's why we're proud to partner with an organization that we believe exemplifies the same quality, standards and commitment to Columbus and the Crew,” said Dr. James Schumer of ReVision. “I'm also personally honored that The Crew players and organization have placed their trust in us with their vision." 

Microsoft Windows 8 will be on site at Crew Stadium on Saturday, May 10 and Saturday, August 23, where they are set to host an interactive zone in the plaza with premium giveaways and opportunities to test out Windows 8 products.

“Microsoft Windows is excited to support the MLS and Columbus Crew in 2014.  We look forward to meeting Crew fans at select games this season,” said Jennifer Coveny, Senior Experiential Marketing Manager – Global Campaigns & Brand. “Fans will have opportunities to check out some of the latest Windows features, keep up to date on Crew news on the MLS App and show your support through our #WEWILLWIN sweepstakes.”

On board for year three of its partnership with the Crew, the CheckSmart renewal includes Crew Soccer Foundation Programs, Kicks for Kids and the Field Refurbishment Program. Along with Crew community events, CheckSmart has also re-committed to the Associate Sponsorship of the Hispanic Heritage Night and La Mega 103.1 FM radio feature “Keys to the Match.”  LED Field Board signage is included as well. CheckSmart’s philanthropic mission is to improve the quality of life in the communities in which they do business through financial support and the encouragement of volunteer service. Through the partnership, CheckSmart will become a VIP Sponsor of the Crew Soccer Foundation’s flagship program, Kicks for Kids. CheckSmart will provide tickets to underprivileged youth and local children’s organizations who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience a Columbus Crew match.

Columbia Gas expanded their partnership for the 2014 season, adding LED field board assets to go along with their renewal as an MVP Supporter of the Kicks for Kids Program, print ads, digital and team support with hospitality.

G&J Pepsi renews their partnership with exclusivity in the carbonated soft drink and water categories as the “Official Soft Drink of the Columbus Crew and Crew Stadium.” Additionally, the partnership includes LED and Stadium signage, in-game promotion as the presenting sponsor of the Dr. Pepper T-shirt cannon and the Crew Stadium Souvenir Cup. Additionally, they are in-market sponsor for La Michoacana Hispanic audience, the Crew Soccer Foundation, various player appearances, ads for Crew broadcasts and hospitality. 

“Pepsi, the Official Soft drink of MLS, and G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers, Inc., have been proud supporters of the Columbus Crew since opening kick of the first game in Columbus,” said John Dougherty, Senior Vice President of Field Sales for G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers, Inc.  “One of our premier brands, Dr. Pepper, has also supported the patrons at Crew Stadium with commemorative cups, T-shirts, in-stadium and market-wide promotions to help create fan excitement and refreshment.  We pledge to stand tall and be massive with the Crew in their drive to MLS Cup.”

Kroger returns as the presenting sponsor of the Crew’s “Hometown Heroes” military recognition program, featured at all Crew home matches during a special pre-game ceremony. Additionally, they serve as the Associate Sponsor of Dare to Care’s “Active Bodies, Active Minds” community relations program, designed to emphasize and reward kids for leading a well-rounded life that includes physical and mental activity. Returning in 2014, Kroger will be an Associate Sponsor of Dare to Care’s “Casting With the Crew” fishing event and serve as a Support Sponsor for the Crew’s 5K race in addition to receiving LED field-level signage.

“We’re happy to continue our partnership with The Columbus Crew in several capacities,” said Jackie Siekmann, spokesperson for Kroger’s Columbus Division. “What a better way to team up with The Crew than to celebrate our Hometown Heroes. To use our collaboration to pay tribute to the men and women who serve our country is a great honor, and we’re proud to continue this partnership.”

Medical Mutual returns as the “Official Health Insurer of the Columbus Crew.” They have a presence in the stadium with signage, are a Presenting Sponsor of the Inside the Crew radio show on 95.5 The Game and a supporter of the Kicks for Kids charitable ticket program.

“The Columbus Crew is a tremendous asset to Central Ohio,” said Amber Hulme, Vice President of Medical Mutual’s Central and Southern Ohio Commercial Business Unit. “We are excited about our long partnership and look forward to continuing to serve as the official health insurer of the Crew.”

Modelo renews their partnership as the “Exclusive Mexican Import Beer of the Columbus Crew.” Activation elements include beer and ticket sponsorship and support of the La Michoacana Market promotion, connecting the Crew to its Hispanic audience. For five games this season, Heidelberg will be the title sponsor of the new Modelo Ticket & Beer bundle. The package, new to Crew Stadium in 2014, allows for a $29 ticket that includes a seat for the match in Section 135 and two beers with cornhole and other activities on the stage. 

“Heidelberg Distributing is excited to partner with the Columbus Crew for a second year,” said Marty Thomas, Brand Manager at Heidelberg Distributing. “This year, with brands such as Modelo Especial and Corona Extra, we encourage Crew Fans to Dare to Be Especial.”

The 3-1-0 Crew travels to face the San Jose Earthquakes this week on Sunday, April 13 (3:00 p.m. ET / Time Warner Cable SportsChannel) with a two-match road winning streak on the line.

ABOUT THE COLUMBUS CREW
The Columbus Crew is Ohio's Major League Soccer club. Owned and operated by Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV), and one of the League's Charter Members, it won its first MLS Cup championship in 2008, and has also won the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and MLS Supporters’ Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009. 2014 is the Crew’s 16th season at first-of-its-kind Crew Stadium, the first topflight soccer-specific facility built in the United States. Founded by the American sports pioneer Lamar Hunt, the club was purchased by PSV on July 29, 2013 as part of the privately held investment and management firm’s sports and entertainment business enterprise.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that—where possible—are sustainably grown and Responsibly Raised™ with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. In order to achieve this vision, we focus on building a special people culture that is centered on creating teams of top performers empowered to achieve high standards. This people culture not only leads to a better dining experience for our customers, it also allows us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and currently operates about 1,600 restaurants including six ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants, and is an investor in an entity that owns and operates one Pizzeria Locale.

ABOUT KOORSEN FIRE & SECURITY
Koorsen Fire & Security was founded in 1946 and is a third-generation family-owned business.  Koorsen Fire & Security is one of the largest and most respected fire protection and security companies in the United States.  With locations in 20 markets throughout the Midwest, Koorsen Fire & Security employs nearly 700 associates and prides itself on providing total protection from one source, utilizing the highest quality products and services ensuring creative solutions and unparalleled support. Koorsen Fire & Security carries $10 million worth of product liability protection and has the bonding capabilities to take on almost any size project.  Visit www.koorsen.com to learn more. 

ABOUT ReVISION LASIK & CATARACT SUGERY CENTER
Our goal at ReVision is to improve the quality of our patients' lives through better vision. We specialize in surgical and nonsurgical vision enhancement solutions, including LASIK, Cataract Surgery, Premium Lens implantation and Dry Eye treatment and relief.  Dr. D. James Schumer and the entire staff are committed to only providing the very best in care to Central Ohio, including exclusive technology such as Bladeless 3D LASIK and 3D Laser Cataract Surgery using the VICTUS™ laser.  Our approach to vision care revolves around patient education - with today's technology and treatment, there exists a wider range of options than ever before.  We want our patients to be fully educated so they can make a well-informed decision on the best treatment for their unique visual needs.

ABOUT COMMUNITY CHOICE FINANCIAL, INC (CHECKSMART)
Community Choice Financial Inc. is a leading retailer of financial services to unbanked and underbanked consumers through a network of 492 retail storefronts across 14 states. CCFI focuses on providing consumers with a wide range of convenient consumer financial products and services to help them manage their day-to-day financial needs including short-term consumer loans, check cashing, prepaid debit cards, money transfers, bill payments, and money orders. Please visit www.ccfi.com for more information.

ABOUT COLUMBIA GAS OF OHIO
Columbia Gas of Ohio, headquartered in Columbus, is one of the seven energy- distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI). Serving approximately 1.4 million residential, commercial and industrial customers, Columbia Gas of Ohio is the largest natural gas utility in the state.  Innovation Leader. The company is an industry leader in the development of innovative services and programs such as CustomerCHOICE®. The Customer CHOICE® program provides residential and small commercial customers the opportunity to reduce their energy costs by purchasing their natural gas from non-utility suppliers. Columbia Gas of Ohio has a proven track record of service reliability and customer safety.  The company actively supports non-profit agencies and organizations in the communities it serves

ABOUT G&J PEPSI-COLA BOTTLERS, INC.
G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers Inc. is the largest family-owned and operated Pepsi franchise bottler, employing more than 1,600 people at 11 locations in Ohio and Kentucky, including production facilities in Lexington and Winchester, Kentucky, and in Columbus and Portsmouth, Ohio. G&J has distribution centers in Hamilton, Ripley, Hillsboro, Athens, Chillicothe, and Zanesville, Ohio and in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. As a market leader, we offer an extensive beverage refreshment portfolio including Pepsi-Cola, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max, Pepsi Next, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, Mug Root Beer, Dr Pepper, Crush, Tropicana Fruit Beverages, Amp and Rock Star energy products, Starbucks Frappuccino and iced beverages, Lipton Teas, Ocean Spray, Aquafina Water products, SoBe energy beverages, Gatorade and Muscle Milk products. We strive to maintain the highest quality products and services to our customers.

ABOUT KROGER
Kroger, the nation’s largest traditional grocery retailer, employs more than 339,000 associates who serve customers in 2,422 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s. The Company also operates 790 convenience stores, 323 fine jewelry stores, 1,141 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America in 2010, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations in the communities it serves. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 160 million meals a year through more than 80 Feeding America food bank partners. For more information, visit Kroger.com.

ABOUT MEDICAL MUTUAL OF OHIO
Founded in 1934, Medical Mutual of Ohio is the oldest and largest health insurance company based in Ohio. Now in its 80th year, the company has served customers with high-quality, affordable group and personal health insurance plans, and third-party administrative services to self-insured group customers. As a mutual health insurance company, Medical Mutual is unique in that it operates for the benefit of its members. Unlike publicly-traded insurance companies that must maximize their financial return, Medical Mutual does not answer to stockholders or Wall Street analysts.  For more information, visit the company’s award-winning Web site at www.MedMutual.com.

ABOUT MICROSOFT
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential

ABOUT HEIDELBERG DISTRIBUTING
Heidelberg Distributing is the Midwest’s largest beer, wine and spirits distributor and the nation’s 14th largest beer distributor.  We proudly market and sell 13,500 brands to some 26,000 beverage retailers in Ohio and Kentucky.  For more than 75 years, Heidelberg has been delivering the finest products in the world to retailers – your local grocers, convenience stores corner bars, restaurants and more.  Today, we are still family-owned and operated. The Miller and Vontz families – both third and fourth generations – are actively involved in the leadership and daily operations of the company.  We care about the cities and towns where we live, work and play. Heidelberg family Associates are involved in hundreds of charities and give-back organizations, and as our budgets allow, each division contributes time, energy and resources to make our cities economically sound and vibrant. We are leaders in local events which celebrate wine and beer, and we help raise millions of dollars through festivals and fundraisers. You'll find us involved in organizations that improve community health, families, education, the environment, business and the arts.