Houston Dynamo front office focused on getting kit sponsorship deal done for 2014 season

In 2013, the Houston Dynamo were one of only three MLS teams without a jersey sponsor. Dynamo president Chris Canetti and his staff are working to remedy that for the season ahead.

“That’s a priority,” Canetti told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Friday. “I’m not going to sit here and say we’re imminently close to signing a deal, but we do have a handful of positive conversations going on. However, we’ve always had a handful of positive conversations going.

Jersey sponsors are an attractive revenue stream for clubs. In fact, the Dynamo signed a landmark five-year deal that was slated to net them $12.7 million dollars with Greenstar Recycling in 2010. However, Greenstar reached an agreement with the Dynamo prior to the 2013 season to cease the sponsorship, leaving Houston’s kit bare for the remainder of the year.

Now the Dynamo are working to fill that space with a new logo. While the organization is busy working their roster and starting a new National Women’s Soccer League franchise, it has not lost sight of what Canetti says is a major priority – even if a deal may not be around the corner.

“It just takes the right person to say yes,” Canetti said. “So far we haven’t found that right person. We’re working hard on it because it’s a massive priority and one of the major pressure points going into the season from the business side. All I can hope for is that one of these conversations becomes the one.”

In a perfect world Canetti would have that deal wrapped and unveiled ahead of opening day, allowing the Dynamo to march out of the tunnel on March 8 to face the New England Revolution with a new logo on their shirt. That, however, is just eight weeks away, and deals of this magnitude are more delicate than a simple handshake.

Still, Canetti has his eyes set on getting something sealed as soon as he can.

“It’s ASAP, to be honest,” Canetti said when asked when he would like to have the deal done.

Houston have targeted a selection of companies Canetti feels fit the bill for a quality relationship with the club. And while the Dynamo are working with a wide range of corporations that operate both locally and globally, there is a combination that seems to be standing out.

“What we’re finding is the kind of deal that makes the most sense from the partner’s side is a big company with local roots and local presence and local interest but also does business outside the Houston area,” Canetti said. “Those are the things that make the most sense and line up with what we’re trying to do.”

With a good handle on the profile, Canetti and the Dynamo are left to wait for that phone call.

“We could get a phone call Monday that says we believe this is a phenomenal opportunity, let’s get it going,” Canetti said. “That’s not unrealistic, it’s a little bit of a wish, but it could happen.”

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.