Fire ink deal with building products leader USG

CHICAGO - The Chicago Fire has announced that the club has signed a team marketing partnership with building product materials leader USG (United States Gypsum) for the 2005 season. The alliance marks the first time the two entities establish a joint venture.

"We are pleased to welcome USG to our family," said Chicago Fire Marketing Director Trent Sheridan. "USG is a proven leader and success story in the construction industry and our partnership with them will be mutually beneficial as we continue to nurture our relationship with Chicago's vibrant Hispanic community. We look forward to an exciting first-year partnership and are certain we will be partners for many years to come."

The partnership will allow the Fire and USG to host the first annual veterans tournament (Copa USG), to be held on June 11, 2005. Through its relationship with the Chicago Fire, USG seeks to become more involved with Chicago's growing Hispanic community. USG will sponsor various local Hispanic soccer teams that play in the CLASA and HISPANO leagues throughout Chicagoland. Additionally, USG will select seven Hispanic Heroes from the construction industry to be honored during the Fire's annual Hispanic Heritage Night on June 4, when the Fire hosts MLS expansion team Chivas USA for the first time at Soldier Field.

"USG is excited and honored to be a sponsor of the Chicago Fire and the local soccer community," said USG Director of Segment Marketing Professional Channel Jake Gress. "We wish the entire Chicago Fire organization the best of luck in their journey for the MLS Cup in 2005."

USG has a long-standing commitment to giving back to communities in which we do business, as well as to promoting global conservation. Our corporate responsibility initiatives extend to programs that support communities in need and that safeguard the environment in which we live. By encouraging social and environmental awareness in all of our practices and core values, we are helping to revitalize communities and protect and preserve human health and natural resources. For more information please visit .

The Chicago Fire was founded on October 8, 1997 as an MLS expansion team. The Fire won the MLS Cup in its inaugural season in 1998 and was crowned the U.S. Open Cup champion in 1998, 2000 and 2003, capturing conference titles in 2000, 2001 and 2003. The Fire will play its last season at Soldier Field in 2005 and open its world-class soccer stadium in the Spring of 2006 in Bridgeview, IL.

Stay connected: Get access to breaking news, videos, and analysis from North America's best soccer reporters via "This Week in MLS" newsletter or using our FREE mobile app.