VANCOUVER – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced Thursday that BMO Financial Group will become the franchise's first founding partner. The new four-year partnership builds off of a five-year relationship with the previous incarnation of the Whitecaps and will focus on the continued support of youth soccer in Canada.
“It gives me huge pleasure to welcome BMO Financial group as our first founding partner,” Whitecaps FC chief executive officer Paul Barber said at a press conference on Thursday. “It’s been key to welcome partners that will help us become a world class soccer club.”
BMO will continue to sponsor the Kickin’ with the ‘Caps program, which provides youth soccer clubs throughout the province an opportunity to attend Whitecaps FC MLS matches. Approximately 150 participants will take part in the program at each home match.
“We’re thrilled to join Whitecaps FC as a founding partner as they enter into their inaugural season in MLS,” said Rob Serraglio, the senior vice president of BMO Bank of Montreal and the BC & Yukon Division. “The expanded sponsorship with the Whitecaps youth programs fits in very nicely with our current grassroots support of girls’ and boys’ teams across Canada.”
The partnership will also see the bank sponsor BMO Club Nights, featuring “chalk talks” from coaches and autograph sessions with Whitecaps FC players.
“BMO share in our vision of growing soccer in British Columbia, Canada and across North America,” Barber said. “Our club is keen not only to inspire young people to play soccer, but also to help them fulfill their dreams.”
“As our second major partner announcement, [this partnership] continues to build on the excitement for Major League Soccer,” Barber said. “We’re now just 150 days away.”