Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sporting KC introduces Ivy Funds as club's first-ever jersey sponsor

Sporting Club unveiled Ivy Funds as the first-ever jersey sponsor for Sporting Kansas City as part of a multi-year agreement announced at the 2013 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday.

Headquartered in Overland Park, Kan., Ivy Funds becomes the presenting jersey partner of Sporting Kansas City and official investment management partner of Sporting Club.

The Ivy Funds logo will be prominently displayed on the front of all team jerseys at the start of the 2013 MLS season, including Sporting Kansas City's new 2013 home uniform that will launch on Feb. 27.

Fans may access a special pre-sale for home and away jerseys at beginning on Friday , Jan. 18 to be among the first to order the team's newest gear.

"They offer us everything we wanted, with the key attribute being local," said Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman. "Local was always the thing that was going to be most important to us in a jersey sponsor and then innovation. Ivy Funds has proven that they're an innovator in their field. We wanted something that connected to our community in a large way and that's exactly what this relationship is going to allow us to do."

The partnership aligns two companies based in Kansas City that have brands and business models that are national in scope.

The multi-faceted and fully integrated corporate sponsorship also provides Ivy Funds with naming rights to the Executive Suite level at Sporting Park, entertainment at the stadium for clients and employees, as well as engagement opportunities with Sporting KC players for charitable efforts and appearances.

"Sporting Club is an exemplary franchise on and off the field, and we look forward to growing with them as soccer rapidly cements its place among professional sports in the United States, as it already has globally," said Thomas Butch, CEO and President of Ivy Funds Distributor, Inc. "With its visionary management, world-class venue and talented, accessible players and coaches, Sporting Kansas City provides a great partner to further extend the Ivy Funds brand throughout the United States and abroad. We look forward to a broad-based, constructive partnership."

Ivy Funds 2 Ivy Funds Distributor, Inc. became an affiliate of Kansas City-based Waddell & Reed in 2003 and has grown to be one of the fastest growing mutual fund families in the country over the last 10 years.

Ivy Funds offers a broad mutual fund lineup and has ranked among the top performing fund families over a five-year period in Barron's "Best Mutual Fund Families" each of the last two years.

Ivy Funds' parent Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc., is a publicly traded investment management and financial planning company (NYSE:WDR). Originally founded in Kansas City in 1937, Waddell & Reed had $95 billion in assets under management at Sept. 30, 2012.

"It is gratifying that Ivy Funds' growth and recognition in the marketplace has enabled so ambitious a partnership with so outstanding a partner," said Henry J. Herrmann, Chairman and CEO of Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc., Ivy Funds' parent company, which has been based in Kansas City since its origin in 1937. "We believe our relationship with Sporting Club will enhance the already strong brand recognition of Ivy Funds and Waddell & Reed among all of our stakeholders."

Ivy Funds' sports sponsorship presence has been showcased at Sporting Park and Kauffman Stadium, and the company also serves as the lead sponsor of the Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon, with Ivy Funds since 2005.