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Columbus Crew signs record sponsorship deal ahead of new season

Major League Soccer franchise Columbus Crew has agreed a record shirt sponsorship deal with Acura, the luxury vehicle marque of Japanese automotive manufacturer Honda.

The initial three-year agreement names Acura as Columbus Crew’s official automotive partner and will cover the 2017 to 2019 seasons.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the club confirmed that the agreement represented “the largest annual commercial transaction” in its history.

Under the agreement, Acura’s branding will feature on the front of Columbus Crew’s match-day and replica jerseys.

Acura has a significant presence in Ohio and its partnership with Columbus Crew will provide programming and employee engagement benefits for its workforce of more than 10,000 people in the area.

The partnership marks Acura’s first exclusive partnership in the Columbus area and its first football shirt sponsorship.

Columbus Crew’s president of business operations, Andy Loughnane, said: “When we set about finding our next jersey partner, we knew that we wanted a company that had strong Ohio roots and, again, given their presence in the manufacturing sector here, as well as their strength in sales, this was a phenomenal fit from our perspective.

“The fact that we are also able to unveil a new kit that is a return to some of our heritage elements and that it happens to have the Acura brand is an outstanding connection. For us, there is no more important commercial relationship to get right and we believe that, the star of today’s show, we got this right.”

The club begins its 2017 MLS campaign with a home game against Chicago Fire on Saturday.