After three years of ducking friends’ snickers, avoiding wearing the free replica jerseys to even do laundry, or explaining to strangers and co-workers that having some money with a jersey sponsor is better than no money at all; San Jose Earthquakes fans did a dance of joy on Monday when it was officially announced that Amway was no longer going to be across the chest of their beloved Boys in Blue & Black.
With that knowledge, the supporters across the Bay Area (and even across the Pond) started the crying: “Amway’s dead. Long live... who?” Wait, the Quakes don’t have a sponsor lined up in the wings waiting to stick their name across the chests of the San Jose Earthquakes players, coaches and fans? Now finding a sponsor shouldn’t be that hard with the San Francisco Bay Area being known for quite a few ground breaking businesses. However, the question now becomes which company out there would best represent the club’s supporters, team, and the area?
What if the the San Jose Earthquakes could get Apple to sponsor the team? Close your eyes and picture Chris Wondolowski running around scoring goals with “iWin” on the front of his jersey; that would even sound tempting to the staunchest PC user. Or think about the fact that the Quakes could rename the “Nutrilite Training Facility” to the “iTrain” Facility, very fitting with the practice pitch being located along the CalTrain tracks. Besides, no one can contest that Wondo’s finishing artistry and innovation would fit right in with the legacy and model set forth by the late Steve Jobs.
If Apple isn’t the right fit, what about having Electronic Arts sponsor the Quakes? The parent company of FIFA12’s EA Sports is located only 20 miles north on 101 in Redwood Shores. The San Jose fans would be able to look forward to all the sponsor give-aways, wear EA jerseys everywhere, would happily give out their email addresses with just the hope of getting an advanced copy of FIFA 13. Besides can’t you just see how “EArthquakes” just flows naturally on a jersey? If EA doesn’t jump at the chance to sponsor the Quakes, maybe San Francisco’s Zynga could use some of their IPO money to put their name on some jerseys. We could declare that Buck Shaw is now the new Quakesville and have players lining up to feed Lenny some balls.
The San Jose Earthquakes could also become known as the most social media savvy MLS team by getting either Palo Alto’s Facebook or San Francisco’s Twitter to sponsor the Quakes. Can’t you just see the word “Like” with the iconic “thumbs up” on the front of the Quakes jerseys or maybe a little cheerful bird tweeting Ampai’s name? This would also be one way to make sure all the San Jose players are contributing weekly to Center Line Soccer’s “The Retweet”. Another option could be found in Mountain View’s LinkedIn, it could become everyone’s job in the Bay Area and beyond to seek out ways to be “1st connected” to the entire team.
Speaking of Mountain View, there’s another small company that is located there that might have some money to put up for a jersey sponsorship, that would be a little known entity called Google. Wouldn’t it be great if on all the Google desk tops and phones around the world, everyone would see “Gmail | Calendar | Documents | SJEarthquakes | Search”? We could have the “O”s in Google turn into little soccer balls.
If the tech industry isn’t your sponsor of choice, we could choose to compete with the Portland Timbers on who has the best airline sponsor. Virgin America’s headquarters is located in Burlingame and currently don’t have a team to sponsor. Just think of how the pink of Virgin would just pop on the black or the blue jersey. A side effect to agreeing to a partnership with the Earthquakes, it might get Virgin America to start flying out of San Jose’s airport which is a win/win situation for everyone.
No matter who steps up with a deal for the San Jose Earthquakes, here’s hoping that the Quakes front office thinks about their brand and image that is tied up with the name that is placed across all our hearts. May they tread carefully, especially since this will be a name that will be sticking around for possibly the next three years.
(Photo courtesy of sjearthquakes.com)