USSoccerPlayers (February 9, 2007) -- Arsenal and Kroenke Sports Enterprises announced a partnership on Friday, which will include the establishment of a club tournament open to American teams and a re-branding of the logo and uniforms of the Colorado Rapids.
"We are delighted to be able to announce our alliance with Kroenke Sports Enterprises," said Arsenal FC managing director Keith Edelman in a statement. "This is a very important step for Arsenal as this becomes our first venture into the United States marketplace. We are approaching this as a long term development alliance that will benefit both clubs significantly."
The Arsenal Center of Excellence will be established at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, which will open in 2007 as the new home of the Colorado Rapids. The alliance between the clubs includes a combination of commercial and marketing efforts along with an exchange of knowledge between coaches and administrators.
"We are thrilled to have established such an alliance with one of the leading clubs in the world that will help continue the expansion of our sport well into the future," said KSE executive vice-president and chief marketing Officer Paul Andrews. "We are looking forward to a successful, long lasting relationship."
The Arsenal Cup, a club tournament open to American club teams, will be hosted at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Details will be made public on a later date.
"This groundbreaking alliance with Arsenal, a team that has been in the first flights of the sport for more than 100 years is the one of the stepping stones to continue pushing our sport into the next level," said Colorado Rapids managing director Jeff Plush. "In today's international business community, soccer is the only true global sport that transcends ethnicity, culture and language and with this type of relationships we are making sure that our company is expanding this vision through our worldwide sport."
As part of the agreement, the Rapids will conduct a portion of their preseason training camp on Arsenal's grounds in London from March 8-13.
The Rapids will sports new uniforms, colors and logo for the 2007 season, utilizing the same burgundy and sky blue colors seen in Arsenal's jerseys.
The team's new logo, which was designed by sports branding company SME, features a trademarked shield design, the number 96, which is representative of the team's year of inception, a stylized one-of-a-kind version of a traditional soccer ball graphic set against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, and all of it crowned by a re-imagined Colorado Rapids word mark.
"Since KSE arrived on the Colorado sports scene, the company has created a bloodline that has been shared by all its teams," said Plush. "The Rapids will now have the company's lineage reflected in their identity as we now move forward tied indelibly to KSE's strong winning tradition and commitment to excellence."