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The Score - Anthony Schoettle

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Sports Business

Indy Eleven nabs new international sponsor, re-ups with Honda

March 29, 2017
KEYWORDS Sports Business

The Indy Eleven has signed its first internationally-based sponsor and extended the contract of its primary jersey supporter as the team launches its fourth season.

Turkish Airlines is now the “Official International Airline Partner” of the professional soccer team. The airline’s logo debuted on the back of the club’s jerseys last Saturday, when the team kicked off its 2017 schedule against the expansion San Francisco Deltas.

But local fans will get their first glimpse when the Eleven opens its home season at 3 p.m. Saturday at Carroll Stadium at IUPUI.

‘We truly believe sports has the ability to unite cultures and nations, therefore we are glad to be a part of this partnership,” said İlker Aycı, Turkish Airlines’ chairman, in a statement.  

Indy Eleven owner Ersal Ozdemir said the partnership could expand the reach of the team’s brand “across the United States and the world.”

Turkish Airlines provides more international service than any airline in the world, serving 296 destinations in 120 countries. Its markets include nine U.S. cities, including Chicago and Miami.

In addition, Central Indiana Honda Dealers and Honda Manufacturing of Indiana have extended their corporate partnerships with the Indy Eleven. Honda is designated as the “Official Automobile of Indy Eleven,” and its logo is on the front of team jerseys.

Ozdemir said Honda’s involvement as a founding corporate sponsor of the team “has been immeasurable.”

“From helping establish Indy Eleven in the local business landscape to supporting many of our community initiatives, our family thanks Honda for being there since the beginning and looks forward to strengthening the relationship even more,” he said in a statement.

Honda’s involvement with the Eleven goes beyond its jersey logo. Honda sponsors a fun zone at Carroll Stadium, supports the team’s youth camps, provides in-game sponsorships during local TV broadcasts and sponsors a post-game show.

“In a town where pro teams impact our daily lives and community livelihood, we're excited and proud to continue to be a major partner of the Indy Eleven,” said Dave Piercefield, president of Central Indiana Honda Dealers, in a prepared statement.

Yolanda White, corporate affairs manager at the Honda plant in Greensburg, said the “enthusiasm for soccer in Indiana continues to grow, and we’re excited to be a part of it.”

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