By Barry Janoff
July 21, 2014: The San Francisco 49ers' new Levi's Stadium, years in the planning and building and $1.2 billion in the spending department, is scheduled to host its first NFL pre-season game on Aug. 17 (versus Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos), its first regular season NFL game on Sept. 14 (versus the Chicago Bears) and its first college football game on Oct. 24 (Cal versus Oregon).
But before any of that occurs, the venue will be christened by a Major League Soccer game between the nearby San Jose Earthquakes and visiting Seattle Sounders on Aug. 2.
Given the national media exposure surrounding the 69,000-seat stadium — which has been selected by the NFL to host the historic Super Bowl 50 in September 2016 — it is small wonder that BMW Northern California has signed on be presenting sponsor of the inaugural match at Levi’s Stadium.
The deal, handled by Pivot Marketing Agency, San Francisco, comes in conjunction with a deal that BMW Northern California has inked to be the official automobile partner of the Earthquakes. Financial terms were not disclosed.
In addition to serving as presenting sponsor of the match on Aug. 2, BMW will have signage and media rights and BMW.vehicle displays at Earthquakes home games throughout the season. BMW dealerships around the Bay Area will also host ten Ticket Test-Drive events, hosted by players from the club, during the 2014 season offering free tickets to a future Earthquakes home game.
“We couldn’t be happier to announce our partnership with BMW,” Dave Kaval, president for the Earthquakes, said in a statement “They are an industry leader and we have built out a great fan-friendly partnership with them. We are proud to have them as the presenting sponsor of the historic first official event at Levi’s Stadium on Aug. 2. We are looking forward to a memorable event.”
"In light of the 2014 World Cup, it’s a very exciting time for soccer in the United States, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”
The 49ers and Levi's Stadium have their own array of marketing partners, which will be in full view during the Earthquakes game and subsequent events. They include naming rights partner Levi;s, United Airlines, PepsiCo, Yahoo!, Intel, Anheuser-Busch's Bud Light, Sony, Comcast-NBCUniversal, Esurance, SunPower, NRG Energy, SAP, Violin Memory and Brocade.
The venue is located about 30 miles south of San Francisco.
According to Donna Gebers, chair for the Bay Area BMW Co-op, “BMW of Northern California is thrilled to partner with the Earthquakes for the inaugural event at Levi’s Stadium. In light of the 2014 World Cup, it’s a very exciting time for soccer in the United States, and we’re proud to be a part of it.”