Columbus Crew SC today announced that it has partnered with MAPFRE Insurance in a historic deal that will see Crew Stadium, the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States, now named MAPFRE Stadium. Built in 1999, Crew SC now takes the pitch for its 17th season at MAPFRE Stadium and prepares for its historic 20th season in Major League Soccer this year. In a multi-million dollar agreement, the largest partnership in club history, MAPFRE Stadium becomes the home of the Black & Gold. MAPFRE will also become the presenting sponsor of Crew SC’s community program, Give Forward, as well as the club’s Official Auto, Life and Home Insurance sponsor. Per club policy, additional details of the multi-year deal were not disclosed.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with a world-class company like MAPFRE Insurance and thank them for their support of Crew SC and our efforts in Columbus,” said Columbus Crew SC Investor-Operator and Chairman Anthony Precourt. “This agreement is a culmination of the thorough, thoughtful planning and hard work that we promised Columbus and our fans from the first day Precourt Sports Ventures purchased the team 19 months ago. Dynamic business partnerships like this are part of our strategy to be a winning organization. We expect MAPFRE Stadium to become an even greater place for our growing fan base to cheer on Columbus’ original major league franchise for years to come.”
The agreement with MAPFRE Insurance is the latest in a string of successes and investments from Precourt Sports Ventures since Anthony Precourt became the second Investor-Operator in Crew SC history on July 30, 2013. Ahead of the 2014 season, Precourt Sports Ventures made a multi-million dollar stadium infrastructure investment, including the construction of a brand new state-of-the-art scoreboard on the stadium's south side, the installation of two 42-foot-long LED ribbon displays on the upper deck fascia and the creation of Premier East seating. The club also expanded the lower concourses of the stadium and renovated the stadium locker room and Obetz training facility last offseason. In 2014, the Black & Gold returned to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2011, setting MAPFRE Stadium attendance and sellout records along the way. With its rebrand a reality, Crew SC has also announced efforts to create a more authentically Columbus experience in MAPFRE Stadium.
“Establishing this partnership with Columbus Crew SC is a very proud moment for MAPFRE,” said Jaime Tamayo, President and CEO of MAPFRE North America. “MAPFRE Stadium not only enhances the MAPFRE brand in the United States but also reinforces our commitment to the local Ohio market. At MAPFRE, we pride ourselves in being people who take care of people,” which Mr. Tamayo said “is perfectly aligned with Crew SC's focus on community involvement and supporting the ideals of true sportsmanship.”
- WATCH: President and CEO of MAPFRE North America Jaime Tamayo discusses MAPFRE Insurance's partnership with Columbus Crew SC
MAPFRE Insurance is a global insurance leader serving more than 23 million customers in 47 countries, with global revenues in 2014 of approximately $35 billion. In the United States, MAPFRE Insurance began as The Commerce Group in 1972 before being acquired by MAPFRE in 2008. The Company is headquartered in Massachusetts and does business in 19 states across the nation, including Ohio where it maintains one of its regional offices.
The deal enacts naming rights for the country's first soccer-specific stadium, which opened its doors on May 15, 1999, with the Black & Gold defeating the New England Revolution by a 2-0 final. Crew SC has played a total of 249 MLS regular-season matches at MAPFRE Stadium, accumulating a record of 126-65-58. The club has also hosted 11 MLS Cup Playoff matches at MAPFRE Stadium, including the 2008 Eastern Conference Championship, which saw the Black & Gold edge the Chicago Fire by a 2-1 final ahead of the club's first-ever MLS Cup title.
“MAPFRE Insurance is a global leader and today’s historic announcement is validation that both Columbus Crew SC and the City of Columbus have a rightful place on the international stage,” said Crew SC President of Business Operations Andy Loughnane. "MAPFRE Stadium is an iconic venue that will continue to proudly honor the heritage of our franchise while representing the evolution of our club."
MAPFRE Stadium has also been the spiritual home of U.S. Soccer since its opening, with the Stars and Stripes having never lost in Columbus. The United States' success in the venue includes four historic FIFA World Cup qualifying wins against Mexico, all by a 2-0 final, leading to the popular rallying cry of Dos a Cero in Columbus. MAPFRE Stadium also hosted FIFA Women's World Cup matches in 2003, including the United States' 3-0 Group Stage victory over North Korea. Additionally, the venue has hosted MLS Cup 2001, high school and NCAA Soccer championships as well as the 2000 and 2005 MLS All-Star Games. It was named the world's most influential stadium of the decade by Stadia Magazine in 2010. Twice in the last five years, the club has been awarded SportsTurf Professional Soccer Field of the Year.
In 2014, the Black & Gold experienced a surge in Columbus en route to the third seed in the Eastern Conference and a trip to the MLS Cup Playoffs. The club finished the regular season on a 6-0-0 streak at home and went 9-4-4 in Columbus overall. Last season, Crew SC also set an all-time total attendance record and an all-time sellouts record since moving to the venue in 1999.
"We are excited to partner with the Black & Gold,” said Pat McDonald, Executive Vice President at MAPFRE. “The passion and dedication of Crew SC fans reflects MAPFRE’s dedication and commitment to our customers and to the local Ohio community.”
In addition to soccer events, MAPFRE Stadium has also hosted the country’s largest three-day rock festival Rock on the Range, which returns this summer from May 15 - May 17 with Judas Priest, Linkin Park and Slipknot among the artists to perform.
The Black & Gold begin their 20th season on March 7 at Houston and return home to MAPFRE Stadium for the Opening Match on Saturday, March 14 against Toronto FC at 7:30 p.m. ET. Tickets are available at www.ColumbusCrewSC.com. For a limited time, fans can purchase a $26 Upper Level ticket to the Opening Match and only pay $18 courtesy of MAPFRE Insurance. To take advantage of this limited-time offer, fans should visit www.ColumbusCrewSC.com/AllofColumbus.
Fans can also enter to win an all-access pass to MAPFRE Stadium in the form of a pair of tickets to every public event held at the venue during the 2015 calendar year, such as Crew SC home matches, Rock on the Range 2015 and more. Fans can enter at www.ColumbusCrewSC.com/MAPFRE, with the sweepstakes ending on March 31.
ABOUT COLUMBUS CREW SC
Columbus Crew SC (Soccer Club) is the first club in Major League Soccer and 2015 is the organization’s 20th season. Owned and operated by Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV), 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. 2015 is Crew SC’s 17th season at historic MAPFRE Stadium, the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States. 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 MAPFRE STADIUM
MAPFRE Stadium is the first ever soccer-specific stadium in Major League Soccer (pronounced “MAH-fray" Stadium). It opened its doors on May 15, 1999 to a sellout crowd for a match against the New England Revolution. It has hosted numerous national and international events: eight U.S. Soccer FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – specifically four consecutive “Dos a Cero” victories for the U.S. over Mexico (2001, 2005, 2009, 2013) – FIFA Women's World Cup matches, MLS Cup 2001, two MLS All-Star Games and a number of concerts, including the annual three-day festival Rock on the Range, Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean. It was named the world's most influential stadium of the decade by Stadia Magazine in 2010. In 2008, the venue added a permanent stage in the North End, allowing for up to 35,000 fans to take in concerts and other marquee events. MAPFRE Stadium received its current name in a historic partnership announced just before the 2015 MLS season.
ABOUT MAPFRE INSURANCE
MAPFRE Insurance, rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company, actively writes property and casualty insurance in 19 states across the United States through a network of more than 4,200 independent agents and brokers. MAPFRE Insurance is the 19th largest provider of personal automobile insurance and the 20th largest personal lines insurer in the United States. MAPFRE Insurance is also the largest private passenger automobile insurer, homeowners’ insurer and commercial automobile insurer in Massachusetts. MAPFRE Insurance provides a full range of insurance products, including coverage for automobiles, homes, motorcycles, watercraft and businesses, as well as term life insurance. MAPFRE Insurance is part of the MAPFRE Group, an international insurer with business in 47 countries on five continents. The MAPFRE Group is the leading insurer in Spain. It is also the leading insurer in the non-life market in Latin America and the sixth largest non-life insurer in Europe. The MAPFRE Group has over 36,000 employees and over 23 million customers worldwide. In 2014, the MAPFRE Group had net earnings of $1.1 billion with revenues of $34.8 billion. www.mapfreinsurance.com