The San Jose Earthquakes announced on Monday their stadium will now be called PayPal Park, after the MLS club inked a 10-year deal with the digital payment company, which is also based in San Jose.
In addition to the stadium naming rights deal, PayPal will also be the Earthquakes’ official sleeve sponsor for primary and secondary jerseys.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to find a stadium naming rights partner that aligns with our vision of uplifting the local community,” said Earthquakes Chief Operating Officer Jared Shawlee in a team statement. “PayPal is a highly respected global brand with its headquarters less than two miles from our Front Office. We’re excited to partner on a number of initiatives that aim to support local small businesses and underserved youth, while also making the stadium a more touchless experience for our guests.”
The deal involves business and community initiatives as well. For fans at PayPal Park who want to purchase concessions or merchandise, there will be the opportunity to make purchases at the stadium through Venmo transactions, making the transactions faster and physically safer. Venmo is owned by PayPal, and there will be QR codes set up in the stadium to make it happen. In addition, the club say there will be loyalty programs and cash back rewards for those who use Venmo to make purchases at the stadium.
In addition, as part of the deal, PayPal will receive promotional time on the LED signs ringing the field and other signs around the stadium, but the company say they will give some of that time to local small businesses to help them promote their products and services. There could be additional uplift programs for small businesses down the road, too.
There will also be community programs. First, 250 seats will be reserved at Earthquakes home games, called the PayPal Stand, and those seats will be earmarked for underserved members of the community, who will receive free tickets and free transportation to and from the games. That sounds pretty damn cool, and a way to try and build the fanbase while giving folks in the community a special night.
Additionally, there are plans to launch a program where 20 local youth will be invited to an Earthquakes training session and then will get to play on the PayPal Park field after the session, with Quakes players and staff watching and offering coaching.
So all in all, it sounds like the Quakes struck paydirt with this deal. PayPal is an internationally-recognized robust company, but they also have roots locally in San Jose, and the name rolls off the tongue, too. Plus, the additional bells and whistles in the deal seem like they are intended to benefit fans, small businesses and often overlooked elements of the local community. We’ll see how the partnership develops, but this looks like a great deal.
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