The Columbus Crew sealed a five year partnership with Perio, Inc. of Dublin, Ohio to display the Barbasol brand as the team's jersey sponsor. Barbasol will also become the "Official Shaving Cream of the Columbus Crew" and be prominently displayed on all of the Crew's advertising platforms.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed and the team would not go into specifics, however this deal does eclipse the team's previous partnership with Glidden, valued at one million dollars a year.
Crew President Mark McCullers underscored the dual benefits of the deal, "Financially its extremely important to our bottom line, but equally (important) in terms of relevance, in terms of credibility, to have a brand like Barbasol show value to being on the Columbus Crew jersey"
After a lengthy search for a jersey sponsor, the deal came together quickly. The Crew had approached Perio last season with some promotional proposals, but no deal was made. Late last year, Perio CEO Tom Murray learned of a potential partnership possibility with the team and initiated the discussions. The Crew and Perio were quickly able to work out terms.
Barbasol's long history of sports advertising certainly aided the deal. Baseball star Babe Ruth was one of the first spokesmen for the brand in the 1920's. Recently, Barbasol has partnered with ESPN, The Big Ten Network, Mike & Mike in the Morning, and several PGA and LPGA tour players to promote the Barbasol and Pure Silk.
The team was pleased to secure a local brand with a national footprint such as Barbasol. McCullers added, "It's just more meaningful to have a brand in our community that shows value in being a partner with the Crew rather than a national or international brand that really doesn't have that presence"
That partnership extends beyond the jersey sponsorship, but to the community as well. Barbasol will be donating to the Crew Soccer Foundation to further the foundations work with at risk youth.
While the deal changes many aspects of the team's on the field image, there is one part that won't change, Gaven's Beard. McCullers was unequivocal, "We don't want to mess with the Mojo that is Eddie Gaven's Beard."
Today's deal will certainly spur twitter hashtags, new songs and signs in the Nordecke, and many uses of the phrase "Close Shave", but it also goes a long way to securing the financial footing of the Crew.
The team can narrow their focus to driving harder to the 10K season ticket goal and filling remaining sponsorship deals. It gets easier with the credibility a deal like this lends the team. The Crew can now talk profitability for the first time in a long time.