GE Appliances strikes another soccer deal

The brand has chosen to focus more on soccer sponsorships than other more high-profile sports in an effort to engage with a family-friendly game.
GE Caps

GE Appliances Canada has struck its second soccer deal in as many weeks.

The appliance maker is now an official partner of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, part of a multi-year partnership that will grant GE the title of the team’s official home appliance partner. GE Appliances will also activate through in-stadium signage and sponsor a video series on the ‘Caps social and digital channels.

While this is GE’s first partnership with the Whitecaps, the brand previously dipped its toe into soccer last year with a Toronto Football Club (TFC) sponsorship deal. Prior to that, GE had never taken part in sports sponsorships within Canada.

The TFC deal started out not unlike its partnership with the Whitecaps, with chief of brands Bob Park describing the partnership as “all the standard stuff” – in-stadium signage and social/digital integrations on an exploratory basis. But not one year later, GE expanded beyond the “standard stuff” and became an official sleeve patch sponsor for TFC’s secondary jersey, making it the first brand to ink that kind of sponsorship with the club. It also expanded its agreement to include both digital and in-stadium content creation, although specifics are still being worked out.

GE Appliances has previously told MiC that it chose soccer for its first sports sponsorships specifically because of the relative accessibility of the game – it’s seen as more family-friendly and accessible. It’s more affordable for young children to play soccer than equipment-heavy sports like hockey or golf, and far cheaper to attend a game, with TFC tickets running at well below half of what a typical Raptors ticket costs and a quarter of a Maple Leafs ticket. And, according to Solutions Research Group, soccer is also one of the top sports for participation among new Canadians.

GE deals directly with brands on its sponsorship deals, but works with content studio King Ursa on digital content.