AUSTIN – No matter how cool other Major League Soccer teams think their jersey sponsors are, Austin FC can make a case for its new one being cooler.
On Monday, Austin FC announced a multi-year partnership with Yeti, the Austin-based lifestyle brand best known for what the club’s press release on the partnership termed “its iconic coolers, drinkware, and outdoor equipment.”
At an event at Yeti’s flagship store, Austin FC president Andy Loughnane declared its new partner to be “one of the most successful brands in Austin, one of the most revered brands in the world, and … the most iconic brand we could think of” when considering potential jersey sponsors.
“This is a milestone moment for Austin FC,” club CEO Anthony Precourt declared following an on-stage video reveal of the nature of the partnership. He noted that Yeti is a brand “standing for Austin,” lauding its focus on outdoor lifestyle as ideal for pairing with Austin’s first major pro sports team.
Asserting that he’s been a personal fan of the company’s products for years, Precourt beamed, “We look forward to getting some of your coolers to go boating on Lake Austin,” before clarifying, “We already have them.”
We’re thrilled to announce our partnership with @AustinFC as their newest Founding Partner and Official Jersey Partner. Learn more: https://t.co/RiFCbEm2kC #AustinFC #BuiltForTheWild pic.twitter.com/R2ocAfM4Ew
— YETI (@YETICoolers) February 10, 2020
“We couldn’t think of a better way to give back to the Austin community that has given so much to us,” said Yeti President and CEO Matt Reintjes, “other than building the next great brand in Austin, Texas.”
In his remarks, Reintjes expressed excitement for all aspects of the new partnership, singling out Yeti’s role as the presenting sponsor of Austin FC’s sustainability efforts. As the press release notes, “The partnership with YETI, a brand deeply rooted in conservation and supporting outdoor lifestyles, offers a platform for both Austin brands to launch green initiatives that include the development of comprehensive recycling, compost and water refill policies and practices at Austin FC’s stadium. In addition, YETI and Austin FC will have the opportunity to partner in leaguewide programming such as MLS Greener Goals week and the limited-edition, eco-friendly jersey product designed for Earth Week.”
Though Loughnane did not disclose financial terms of the deal, he emphasized that it was a multi-year deal that would be instrumental to the club building its inaugural roster over the next year.
“As we think about integrating the Austin community into the DNA of our club, the jersey partnership allows for that in a way unlike any other opportunity,” Loughnane explained. “Of course, Yeti is this incredible, iconic brand — a young brand, relatively speaking — but a brand that supports outdoor lifestyles, supports creativity, supports Austin in a way that just makes it the perfect fit for our jersey partnership. It’s a special, meaningful partnership, but even more special given what Yeti means to Austin. They have an incredibly loyal following.”
Loughnane also noted the front office has been at work with Adidas reps on home and away jerseys which will sport the Yeti logo. At least one of those will be unveiled at an event tentatively scheduled before the end of this calendar year.
The partnership unveiling drew three of the new ownership group members who joined the club in August, including Matthew McConaughey.
In his role as the team’s “Minister of Culture,” he orchestrated a “Listo!”/”Verde!” call-and-response chant with members of the Austin Anthem supporters group that he hopes catches on beyond just this event.
“That’ll be the call back for the rest of the time in Austin,” McConaughey proclaimed after the chant was successfully executed. “Someone walks by and says, ‘verde,’ you just say ‘listo.'”
— KXAN News (@KXAN_News) February 10, 2020