whole new ball game
Austin’s first major league sports team bags big-name sponsor
Austin’s first major league franchise has scored big with its latest sponsorship. Major League Soccer's Austin FC, which will kick off play in 2021 at a new $260 million state-of-the-art stadium in North Austin, has bagged revered Texas grocer H-E-B as a key sponsor in a multiyear deal.
As the official grocer of Austin FC, H-E-B has much in store for the partnership. The grocer will become the presenting sponsor of H-E-B Plaza, the fan zone located just outside the 20,500-seat soccer park that will act as a key tailgating spot prior to Austin FC games. H-E-B’s delivery service, Favor, will also become the official food-delivery service of the soccer club.
“H-E-B plays a central role in serving our community,” says Andy Loughnane, president of Austin FC, in a release. “We are honored to be aligning with a brand that has a remarkable history of service and a rich history of activating legendary partnerships with sports properties in Texas.”
In addition to the partnership, H-E-B will sponsor the Community Kick-Back Program, donating to local nonprofit groups every time Austin FC scores a gooooooooooooal during its first season. H-E-B will also be the presenting partner of Austin FC’s Season of Giving program, a Central Texas-focused platform aimed at supporting various community endeavors.
“We consider it our privilege to welcome Austin FC, their premier team members, and spirited fans through this unique partnership,” says Ashwin Nathan, H-E-B’s vice president of marketing and advertising. “We’re ready to get to work with Austin FC, both on and off the field, as we explore new and innovative ways to serve our community.”
The new partners are already in the giving spirit, with Austin FC’s Loughnane and head coach Josh Wolff getting the ball rolling on community involvement by visiting an Austin H-E-B store recently to purchase groceries for local shoppers.
“In honor of our new partnership with H-E-B, and in the spirit of the holidays and the season of giving, we decided to surprise a few customers last week,” Austin FC noted in a social-media post highlighting the store visit.
“We know it’s been a really difficult year,” Loughnane added, “but one of the things that Austin FC will do is support our community, so we’re proud to be here today.”