Sponsorship & Marketing

Inter&Co claims first with Orlando City naming rights

Featured image credit: Orlando City SC

Brazilian financial and digital commerce services provider, Inter&Co, has agreed a 10-year deal to become the new stadium naming rights partner for the home of Orlando’s Major League Soccer (MLS) and National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) teams.

The agreement with Orlando City SC and the Orlando Pride will rename the teams’ home venue as Inter&Co Stadium. Inter&Co is stepping up its support after becoming the official financial institution of the teams back in September.

The enhanced relationship in Orlando designates Inter&Co as the first international partner for the club. Inter&Co is also the first financial institution with Latin-American roots to own the naming rights of a major stadium in the United States.

In June 2019, Orlando City SC ended its search for a stadium naming rights partner by agreeing a deal with timeshare and vacation rental company Exploria Resorts. Orlando City entered MLS in 2015 as an expansion team, moving into its privately-financed 25,500-seat home in March 2017.

That deal renamed the club’s home from Orlando City Stadium to Exploria Stadium. Exploria Resorts will continue as the exclusive, official vacation club of the two teams.

“It’s only fitting that as we enter our 10th season in MLS here in Orlando and ninth in the NWSL, that we would partner for the next decade with a global company, not only committed to our community, but with a shared vision for the future,” said chairman Mark Wilf.

“We are truly excited about what we will build together, enhancing the fan experience in the venue and further connecting our soccer cultures in meaningful ways.”

João Vitor Menin, CEO of Inter&Co, added: “We are excited to take our partnership with Orlando to the next level. This is a breakthrough moment for our company as we expand our presence in the United States.

“It will allow us to connect with Orlando’s young and diverse population, including a vibrant Latino community, through our shared love for soccer. And we could not have asked for a better partner to build upon this state-of-the-art venue where Central Floridians come together and visitors from all over the world have memorable experiences.”

As the official sponsor for accounts, debit and credit cards, mortgages, and remittances, Inter&Co will be a financial partner to Orlando fans, who will get exclusive access to a full suite of products on the company’s Super App, as well as rewards, perks, and unique experiences at Inter&Co Stadium.

As part of its commitment to the greater Orlando community, Inter&Co will join forces with the two clubs to introduce new grassroots initiatives. Inter&Co will enhance local financial literacy programs for youth with other programs announced in the coming months.

Backed by partnership investments from club ownership, Inter&Co Stadium has begun an enhancement project that will bring greater technology to the venue. Upgrades include five million new LED pixels, a new state-of-the-art video board, new fascia LED throughout the bowl, a 16’x9’ LED wall in the West Club, as well as over 200 new TV monitors throughout the suites, premium spaces, concession stands and lower-level concourse.

Additionally, fans will experience new, interactive concourse displays; Wi-Fi 6 and 6E; 5G antennas for increased cell phone coverage; and new hospitality options such as ‘The Terrace’.

“As we look for ways to build on our club’s successes, we know Inter&Co will be a vital partner in continuing to grow the Orlando City and Orlando Pride brands in the global landscape, both on the field and off,” Wilf added.

“We look forward to collaborating on ways to not only expand our business profiles in Latin and South America, but we are excited for the future benefits that our soccer sides will reap through expanded competition, scouting and brand awareness opportunities.”

However, there has been fan opposition to the new deal. A Change.org petition has been launched arguing that the partnership can be interpreted as honouring MLS rival Inter Miami CF. In response, Jarrod Dillon, president of business operations for the teams, told Sportico: “I think with the way this is going to help us grow and be more competitive, fans will see the bigger picture.

“Some people may see Inter&Co and associate that with our rivals down south, but that’s a really small part consideration for a massive partnership that financially and soccer-wise and community-wise is really going to benefit our clubs for years to come.”