Inter Miami stadium sponsorship to highlight fight against cancer

Major League Soccer (MLS) club Inter Miami has today (Friday) announced a stadium naming rights deal with automotive retailer AutoNation, with the agreement intended to highlight the fight against cancer.

Under the multi-year agreement, the Fort Lauderdale-based company will be the official and exclusive automotive partner of Inter Miami, which includes naming rights of the club’s stadium and branding on training kits.

The partnership will seek to amplify AutoNation and Inter Miami’s commitment to driving out cancer, with Inter Miami CF Stadium rebranded as DRV PNK Stadium. Inter Miami completed its 18,000-capacity, interim stadium and 50,000-square-foot training centre in March 2020, ahead of the club’s inaugural season in MLS.

Inter currently intends to play its first two seasons at the stadium. The club’s permanent home is intended to be Miami Freedom Park. The $1bn (£729m/€842m) project is currently in the planning stages and along with a 25,000-seat stadium, is earmarked to include one of the city’s largest public parks and a tech hub, among other components.

The AutoNation partnership includes extensive TV and digital exposure, with the entitlement of the Inter Miami Digital Live Stream via the Inter Miami App and the Inter Miami Spanish language streaming show.

AutoNation will also become the sponsor of the ‘Saves’ feature during Inter Miami matches. For every Inter Miami goalkeeper save, AutoNation and Inter Miami will donate up to $100,000 towards cancer research annually.

Every October, associates from more than 300 AutoNation locations unite on DRV PNK Across America Day to deliver thousands of comfort bags to patients battling cancer at treatment facilities. This year, in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and in conjunction with DRV PNK Across America Day, AutoNation will be the presenting sponsor at an Inter Miami home match.

Marc Cannon, AutoNation’s executive vice-president and chief customer experience officer, said: “DRV PNK Stadium is about driving awareness of a proven mission that has raised over $26m in the fight against cancer. Our partnership with Inter Miami, one of the most dynamic soccer clubs, will help fund research. It allows for our collective support of organisations like the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Cleveland Clinic, and Moffitt Cancer Center at the national and local levels.”

The AutoNation deal is the second MLS stadium naming rights agreement signed this week, and is the latest in a series of deals signed by Miami sports teams. On Monday, digital payment services company PayPal acquired naming rights to the home stadium of the San Jose Earthquakes as part of a wide-ranging 10-year deal.

The NBA basketball league approved the Miami Heat’s arena naming-rights deal with cryptocurrency exchange FTX, while Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise the Miami Marlins ended their long search for a stadium naming rights partner by agreeing a multi-year deal with California-based financial services company loanDepot.

Inter Miami managing owner, Jorge Mas, said: “Inter Miami is a purpose-driven organisation, and we take great pride in partnering with AutoNation, #154 on the Fortune 500 and a South Florida-based company that is positively impacting our community through a creative national campaign.

“It’s important as a sports club to take our time to partner with the right brands who not only represent our values but also help us use our platforms and reach to amplify good causes.”

DRV PNK Stadium was yesterday announced as the venue for a Preliminary Round that has been introduced for this year’s Gold Cup national team tournament. For 2021, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football’s (CONCACAF) flagship competition will for the first time include the Prelims prior to the 16-team Group Stage.

The 12 nations participating in the Prelims qualified through their CONCACAF Nations League performances and will compete for the final three spots in the Gold Cup Group Stage. Games will take place at DRV PNK Stadium from July 2-6.

Mas said: “Our facilities in Fort Lauderdale were built with the intent of giving our fans opportunities to enjoy the world’s game knowing that our vibrant culture and sports-centric region would be attractive for global teams and competitions. This is just the beginning of the great things that lie ahead.”