A Pitch for Business

Red Bulls focused on new partnerships at Harrison arena

via Joshua Burd/ NJ Biz

Suites at Red Bull Arena are all-inclusive, making them hassle-free for corporate partners. - (PHOTO BY AARON HOUSTON)

Suites at Red Bull Arena are all-inclusive, making them hassle-free for corporate partners. – (PHOTO BY AARON HOUSTON)

For the New York Red Bulls, it was a landmark deal in more ways than one.

With their season just underway, the soccer club last week unveiled a marketing partnership with the Japanese heavy equipment maker Yanmar. Not only was it the largest sponsorship deal in club history — it marked the first time another company will have its name on the team’s training jerseys and a permanent sign inside Red Bull Arena.

“It’s big for us to allow that, because we only select very few partners to be co-branded with Red Bull in our building,” said Marc de Grandpre, the club’s general manager. “So it speaks to the synergies between the cultural values of the company.”

It was the type of splash you might hope to make once a year if you’re a professional sports team. But it’s just the beginning for the Harrison-based Red Bulls — at least when it comes to boosting partnerships and raising their profile in New Jersey’s business community.

The 20-year-old Major League Soccer club, which had its home opener Sunday, is on a mission to promote its venue as a hub for Garden State companies to network, entertain and do business. Revenue from partnerships already is up 100 percent from this time last year, and 68 percent of that revenue comes from New Jersey-based companies.

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