In the NFL, corporate sponsors provide a large portion of team revenue, and I think they are key to a team's financial success. As a fan of the Oakland Raiders, I know sponsorship is important as the team needs revenue to deal with their stadium issues and hopefully be able to self-finance a needed new facility. The team struggles with revenue, the Raiders are ranked second-to-last on the Forbes valuation of NFL teams and are dead last when ranked by revenue.
I also think the more revenue the Raiders can generate from sponsors, the less revenue they need to get from regular ticket-buying fans like me via price increases. I believe the partnerships with major brands also show the Raiders really don't have that thug reputation the team is sometimes associated with. It proves mainstream companies do want to be associated with the Raiders legendary brand.
The Raiders announced their 2012 sponsors and I do think members of the Raider Nation should support the companies that support the Raiders. Understandably, Raiders CEO Amy Trask was excited about the sponsorship deals. In an article on the Raiders.com website, she commented: "We are delighted that our new and returning sponsors have expressed enthusiasm about their relationships with us and we look forward to working with them to reach our tremendous global fan base."
Raiders' 2012 Sponsors
Verizon will be the presenting sponsor of Raiders 2012 Training Camp and the team will have some new sponsors for the season, including Nike, GEICO, USAA and Frito Lay. Comcast, already a team sponsor, will return this season.
Sponsorship also covers the Raiders Training Camp and Verizon is the presenting sponsor of the Oakland Raiders Training Camp in 2012. The sponsorship announcement hyped Verizon's 4G LTE wireless network and as a Verizon subscriber, I hope that means we will get access to some exclusive content as a result of the partnership.
The other reason the team is making a big deal about the Training Camp sponsorship is because the team does not control the signage at the O.co Coliseum, the Oakland A's (who share the facility with the Raiders) do.
In addition to game-day visibility and other partnerships, Tide and Gatorade will produce special Raiders-branded products for sale in Northern California.
Although born and raised with Eagles fans in Philadelphia, Freddy Sherman has always been a citizen of Raider Nation at heart. Since his dad got him a signed George Blanda football as child, to meeting Lyle Alzado in the 1980s, he hasn't looked back. Follow him on Twitter - @thefredsherman
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