Austin FC will keep its jerseys local, announcing a partnership with high-end cooler brand Yeti, which started in Driftwood in 2006, as the club’s official jersey sponsor on Feb. 10.
Club president Andy Loughnane did not disclose terms of the deal with Yeti, but he said it was a “multiyear” arrangement to feature the brand on the Austin FC jerseys. The first of two designs, which the club has been working on with Adidas, will be revealed in November or December, Loughnane said.
“We conducted a global search. There were several parties that were interested. I’m very proud to say there was no brand that made as much sense to be an identity within our own jersey as Yeti," Loughnane said.
Matt Reintjes, Yeti’s president and CEO, said the groundswell of community support for Austin FC and the opportunity to partner with a rising brand made the relationship make sense for Yeti.
“When Austin FC came to town, we kept an eye on what was happening. This is a unique partnership for us. Had this type of thing happened in a city that’s not our hometown, we may have passed on it,” Reintjes said.
Each of the three Texas teams in Major League Soccer now will have a local jersey sponsor. FC Dallas is sponsored by Texas-based health and wellness company Advocare, and the Houston Dynamo’s jersey sponsor is the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Yeti was founded in 2006 by brothers Roy and Ryan Seiders in Driftwood. The brothers are hunters and anglers who wanted to create high-end coolers to fill a need based on their own experiences in the outdoors. In 2017, Yeti opened its flagship store at 220 S. Congress Ave. in Austin.
After the announcement of the jersey sponsor, Loughnane said finalizing a stadium naming rights deal will be “priority number one” for the club ahead of its first Major League Soccer game in March 2021.
Work began on the $242 million stadium in North Austin in the fall. Recently, crews put up steel and concrete structures that will become stands and support for the roof canopy. According to Jordan Enke, vice president of stadium operators for Austin FC, that roof is expected to be completed in July. Enke said 450 workers are out at the site at 10414 McKalla Place six days a week.
The stadium is expected to open for the 2021 MLS season along with the club’s $45 million training facility, the St. David’s Performance Center, off Parmer Lane east of I-35 in Northeast Austin. The training facility will be part of a 300-acre mixed-use development called the Parmer Innovation Center that includes office buildings and an entertainment district.
Yeti will sponsor Austin FC jerseys; designs to be released later in 2020
Austin FC's owners and Yeti's management team announced a partnership Feb. 10 that will make Yeti the official jersey partner of the new Major League Soccer club. Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper