The Columbus Crew are actively pursuing a naming rights partner for Crew Stadium. Representatives from MAPFRE, a global insurance company based in Spain, attended the game yesterday and met with Crew officials. The MAPFRE name was displayed on signage throughout the stadium and displayed on the stadium video board for the presentation.
The Crew have pursued a naming partner since the stadium was built in 1999, but have been unsuccessful in getting a deal done. Team investor/operator Anthony Precourt recently said that naming rights had become a secondary priority as the team approached the rebranding efforts earlier this month and Precourt hired a President of Business Operations for the team. With both tasks complete, the team has turned back to finding a naming partner.
MAPFRE fits the profile of a top sponsor option. The company is based in Spain and has a strong presence in Latin America. They have been pushing into the U.S. market, including Ohio in recent years after their 2008 purchase of Commerce Insurance. They also have a history of sports sponsorships, they are a current sponsor of Rafael Nadal.
MAPFRE isn't the only group interested in the rights, several companies are meeting with the Crew this week as negotiations progress.
When reached for comment, a Crew spokesperson confirmed interest without releasing details, "We remain active in pitching sponsorship rights to several potential partners."
Eric Paxton provided this picture from the stadium today with the MAPFRE signage at the front gates.