MLS’ Kansas Award Lance Armstrong Charity Free Stadium Naming Rights

March 10, 2011

Sporting Kansas City, a Major League Soccer (MLS) club, have signed a non-profit naming rights agreement with Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong foundation.

Formerly Kansas City Wizards, have signed a deal which will see their new US$200m stadium named the Sporting Livestrong Park for the next six years, a charity founded by the seven-time Tour de France champion.

Over the course of the partnership the club aim to raise US$7.5 million for Livestrong to assist in fight against cancer, rasing funds through tickets, concessions and revenue from soccer matches.

Sporting KC’s chief executive Rob Heineman said: “We’re proud of Kansas City’s history as a philanthropic leader and we believe that this innovative partnership continues that legacy. Livestrong Sporting Park provides each of us with the opportunity to stay involved in the cause and celebrate many of those things worth fighting for, the support of community, the thrill of victory and events that bring us all together.”

Livestrong founder Lance Armstrong, who has recently retired from professional cycling, said: “Livestrong is honoured to bring its mission to Kansas City through Livestrong Sporting Park. Professional sports provide a powerful vehicle to affect positive change in the world. This partnership with Sporting Club gives us an innovative opportunity to advance the cancer fight in this region and we are eager to get started.”

Livestrong president and chief executive Doug Ulman added: “Sports are a unifying force in bringing people together. Livestrong Sporting Park is more than just a stadium it’s the first athletic venue in the world with a social change mission and offers an ideal arena to champion the cancer cause.”

The deal is a first in US sports, with no other American stadium being named after a charity. The Livestrong Sporting Park is scheduled to open on 9th June.

The agreement reached between Sporting KC and Livestrong echoes Spanish soccer giants FC Barcelona’s partnership with global charity Unicef in 2006, which saw Barcelona pay the charity to have its logo on the front of the team’s kit.