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New & Relocating Sports Franchises Are a Local Brands Dream Come True

May 30, 2023

The major pro sports landscape in the U.S. is constantly evolving to adapt to the ever-changing demands of fans, athletes, and stakeholders. Most recently, the Oakland Athletics announced plans to head to Las Vegas, home of the Golden Knights NHL team since 2017; other young expansion teams include the Seattle Kraken (NHL), Charlotte FC (MLS), and St. Louis SC (MLS).

Known for its vibrant sports culture and enthusiastic fanbase, Orlando has set its sights on luring an MLB franchise by enticing team owners with its growing population, thriving tourism industry, and state-of-the-art sports facilities. Orlando’s prime location in the heart of Florida makes it easily accessible to fans from across the state and beyond, further enhancing its appeal.

Which brands might jump on the chance to partner with a new MLB team in the sunny city? Here’s our list:

Most Active Brands in Orlando:

  1. AdventHealth
  2. Orlando Utilities Commission
  3. Pepsi
  4. Orlando Health
  5. Florida Blue
  6. Bud Light
  7. Coca-Cola
  8. GEICO
  9. Publix
  10. Budweiser

Meanwhile, Connecticut hopes to woo an NHL team to the Constitution State, capitalizing on the Arizona Coyotes’ uncertain future. With the team facing relocation, Connecticut is promoting its rich hockey tradition, passionate fanbase, and a market hungry for professional hockey to entice the franchise. The state’s strategic East Coast location draws on a large population base, a strong foundation for building a dedicated fan following. With no current major pro sports team in Connecticut, local brands, including those on our list below, would likely jump on the opportunity to grow their national profile with an NHL team.

Most Active Brands in Hartford & New Haven, CT:

  1. Hartford Healthcare
  2. Dunkin’
  3. Travelers
  4. M&T Bank
  5. Nike
  6. Pepsi
  7. Maritime Chevrolet
  8. Liberty Bank
  9. Avelo Airlines
  10. AARP Connecticut

The Seattle Kraken’s inaugural 2021 season serves as a prime example that a team entering a new market could replicate. The franchise inked an impressive 71 sponsorships in its NHL debut,18 of which aimed to engage the local Seattle community–signaling the team’s commitment to cultivating its hometown fan base. The other 53 deals targeted a broader national audience, underscoring the Kraken’s ambition to establish a formidable presence on a countrywide scale.

Thirty-three sponsors were companies headquartered in the Seattle market, including 14 national brands–most notably Amazon, which inked a venue naming rights deal for the team’s home, christening it the Climate Pledge Arena in a nod to the urgent need for climate action.The high-profile partnership cemented the Kraken’s status as a force to be reckoned with in the NHL.

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