United Soccer League team Sacramento Republic has agreed a deal for UC Davis Health to become its shirt sponsor in the event of it becoming a Major League Soccer franchise.
UC Davis Health would serve as the founding shirt sponsor of the club for the five-year period covering the 2020 to 2024 seasons.
Sacramento Republic would enter MLS in 2020 should it be successful in securing an expansion franchise. The club said the agreement is the first-ever binding shirt sponsorship deal signed before a team has earned formal entry to MLS.
The club first teamed up with UC Davis Health in July 2016 and the new agreement formalises that partnership. As part of the deal, Sacramento Republic and UC Davis Health will allocate at least $300,000 (€255,000) towards community-based programs that focus on youth wellness, neighbourhood outreach, public health clinics and youth sports clinics.
“As I’ve said before, actions speak louder than words,” Sacramento Republic chairman and chief executive, Kevin Nagle, said. “UC Davis Health has been a vital ally to Republic FC from day one, and its willingness to formalise our partnership sends a powerful message to MLS about how strong our market support is here in Sacramento.”
MLS is due to announce the next two cities that have been successful in securing an expansion franchise before the end of the year. Sacramento is one of 12 cities in the running for a franchise and faces competition from Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Nashville, Phoenix, Raleigh/Durham, St. Louis, San Antonio, San Diego, and Tampa/St. Petersburg.