Earlier this year in March, MLSsoccer.com asked Robb Heineman whether Sporting KC's jersey sponsor was close to being finalized. Robb responded short and sweet with "Definitely." He then went on to say:
"We have a couple different [jersey sponsor] candidates that we are working on, both of whom we think would be excellent candidates. They match up very well with the branding theme that we’ve been working through. It’s something that we would like to get done as soon as possible."
Obviously, what Heineman implied did not happen; Sporting Kansas City did not announce a jersey sponsor shortly after the interview - or even several weeks later. In fact, Sporting KC currently have no jersey sponsor. The reason for the delay is still unknown.
Eight months later, and deep into off-season chatter, fans are starting up their discussions again, asking when Sporting's sponsor will be announced and what people think it will be.
Recently, I noticed something. Something small, but possibly a lead into digging deeper into this jersey sponsor saga. I noticed this at the final few Sporting KC home games. Several club employees were walking around the stadium premises asking fans (and recording on video) what they thought the jersey sponsor would be. Yes, I know this isn't anything groundbreaking; however it's better than nothing. This started to make me think that maybe, just maybe, the sponsor announcement would be coming soon - but I told myself not to get my hopes up; I didn't have enough information to make assumptions.
It was then that I received a direct message from one of my reliable Twitter followers that he had learned some interesting things from "someone with close ties to Sporting." The first thing I was told was that had Sporting KC's playoff run gone deeper, it may have been possible to release the sponsor prior to the end of the season. This came as a surprise to me; something I really hadn't expected to hear.
The next thing I learned was that the Twitter follower I mentioned earlier had been told that the sponsor is "the big one everyone wants it to be." What exactly this sponsor is, I'm not sure. My best guess is Google (also my personal preference), but I can't be sure.
Last night, I emailed Robb Heineman to see if I could pry some solid information regarding the jersey sponsor from him. Surprisingly, he emailed back quite promptly. His response, short but sweet once again, disappointed me: "Nothing pending." Although this seems straight forward, I think otherwise. I have a feeling that the chief executive officer of Sporting Club may not have wanted to reveal any details quite yet – that, or the club may just want to put the jersey sponsor quest on the back burner, maybe until closer to the 2012 MLS season. I can't be 100% sure either way.
Now, hopefully I will ask my readers this for the very last time:
What do you think the Sporting KC jersey sponsor will be?
Answer the above question, and also give me your thoughts on when you think the sponsor will be announced in the comments section below.