BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - Chicago Fire Soccer has announced a three-year, multimillion dollar agreement with Best Buy Co., Inc., making the company the official presenting sponsor and the first-ever jersey sponsor of the Fire beginning in 2008. The partnership agreement gives Best Buy exposure on all Fire first team jerseys, Chicago Fire Juniors, Fire Premier (PDL), Fire Super-20, and Chicago Fire Academy uniforms, replica apparel, and other select merchandise. Specific financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.


Best Buy operates more than 45 stores in the Chicagoland area.


The partnership includes Best Buy's sponsorship of Fire various marketing initiatives, particularly those targeting youth and Hispanic markets. The agreement also incorporates support for the Fire's community relationship efforts, as Best Buy will serve as a sponsor for FireWorks for Kids (FWFK) events, the Chicago Fire/FWFK Kicks for Kids program, and the Annual Frank Klopas Golf Outing. In addition, Best Buy will receive local television and radio advertising, field signage, and brand presence at TOYOTA PARK.


"We're very excited to have Best Buy as the first-ever jersey sponsor of the Chicago Fire," said Chicago Fire President John Guppy. "This is a significant milestone for the Fire organization, as our partnership is more than a jersey sponsorship - it involves marketing initiatives, advertising efforts, and community outreach programs."


"Many of our Chicagoland employees and customers are soccer fans, and we're pleased to be associated with the most popular sport in the world that is growing so rapidly in this country," said Teresa Iglesias-Solomon, vice president of Multicultural Initiatives at Best Buy. "The Fire have a wonderfully diverse fan base. We hope our involvement in Fire soccer will allow us to connect with them through a sport that they are passionate about and to further our relationship with this community."


Best Buy is working to enhance its multicultural marketing efforts: in November, Best Buy significantly improved its shopping experience for Spanish-speaking customers by launching a bi-lingual version of BestBuy.com. In addition, the company has made a wide variety of enhancements to its overall shopping experience by adding multilingual signage and sales associates at stores, offering bilingual assistance via the Best Buy call center at 1-888-BEST-BUY, and launching a national advertising campaign created specifically for Hispanic customers.


Beginning in the 2007 season, Major League Soccer officially approved the incorporation of advertisement on the front, or primary position, of team jerseys. Prior to the 2007 season, MLS included the right to place a corporate name on the back of a jersey as an element of certain national league sponsorship packages. The addition of front jersey sponsorship provides both national and international visibility for companies with the advent of new national and international television deals, participation by MLS clubs in international friendlies and competitions, as well as international merchandising of replica jerseys and promotional items.


About Chicago Fire Soccer
Chicago Fire Soccer was founded on October 8, 1997 as a Major League Soccer expansion team. The Fire won the MLS Cup in its inaugural season in 1998 and was crowned the champion of U.S. Soccer's national tournament, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006. In June 2006, the Fire moved into its world-class home of TOYOTA PARK, located in Bridgeview, Ill. The organization is dedicated to its mission of bringing fans the tradition, honor, and passion of Chicago Fire Soccer.


About Best Buy Co., Inc.
Best Buy Co., Inc. operates a global portfolio of brands with a commitment to growth and innovation. Our employees strive to provide customers around the world with superior experiences by responding to their unique needs and aspirations. We sell consumer electronics, home-office products, entertainment software, appliances and related services through nearly 1,300 retail stores across the United States, throughout Canada and in China. Our multi-channel operations include: Best Buy (BestBuy.com, BestBuy.ca and BestBuy.com.cn), Future Shop (FutureShop.ca), Geek Squad (GeekSquad.com and GeekSquad.ca), Pacific Sales Kitchen and Bath Centers (PacificSales.com), Magnolia Audio Video (Magnoliaav.com), Jiangsu Five Star Appliance Co. (Five-Star.cn) and Speakeasy (Speakeasy.net). Best Buy supports the communities in which its employees work and live through volunteerism and grants that benefit children and education.