Monday, October 6, 2014

Sporting KC and Ivy Funds extend partnership

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Sporting Kansas City announced on Monday that the club's marquee partnership with Ivy Funds has been extended through the 2022 season.

Ivy Funds became the team's jersey sponsor and Sporting Club's official investment management partner in January 2013.

"With the initial jersey sponsor we wanted to find a local partner," Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman said. "Over the course of the last two years we have realized that we had found the absolute perfect partner. It is a huge honor for us to continue our great relationship with Ivy Funds and we truly appreciate the support from everyone in their organization."

"There is great alignment between Ivy Funds and Sporting Kansas City, not only in the structures of our businesses, but also in how we think and work together," said Thomas W. Butch, president and CEO of Ivy Funds Distributor, Inc. "They've been exceptional partners; very imaginative, responsive and focused on how to continue expanding our outreach."

The partnership between Ivy Funds - headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas - and MLS Cup champions Sporting KC aligns two companies based in Kansas City that have a national presence in their respective industries. Both have substantially increased their businesses' revenues, overall value and brand awareness in recent years with an aggressive approach toward future growth opportunities.

The sponsorship agreement between Ivy Funds and Sporting Kansas City is a multi-faceted and fully integrated partnership. In addition to serving as the jersey sponsor for Sporting Kansas City and its four youth Academy teams, Ivy Funds will continue as the naming rights partner for the Ivy Funds Executive Level at Sporting Park.

"This is absolutely the right moment in time to expand our partnership," Butch said. "We very much believe the sport will continue to accelerate its growth in the U.S. and globally, with MLS and Sporting KC at the vanguard of that effort."

"Our partnership also allows us direct and ongoing interaction with the important millennial demographic, as Sporting KC is very much engaged with that generation," Butch added. "That is demonstrated particularly through the innovation that Sporting KC and its related companies bring to bear when it comes to branding and reinforcing client relationships through social media."

"From the beginning of our relationship with Ivy Funds, it was clear that we wanted this partnership to continue to grow," Sporting Kansas City Chief Revenue Officer Jake Reid said. "The entire team at Ivy Funds has been amazing to work with and we couldn't be happier to have them as our primary partner through the 2022 season, making this one of the longest club sponsorship deals in Major League Soccer."

Together, the community-driven partners each make a point of emphasis to connect and engage with their target audiences while mutually supporting one another within the partnership. Ivy Funds has been at the forefront of numerous Sporting Club initiatives, including the Kevin Gray Awards, The Truce, Pitch Black, Sporting Takeoff and Fan Appreciation Week.

Most recently, the Ivy Funds Ultimate Goal Sweepstakes on awarded a $10,000 Ivy Funds account for a grand-prize winner in addition to Sporting KC tickets and Graham Zusi game-worn jerseys for five other recipients. Ivy Funds and Sporting Kansas City will collaborate again in 2015 on a new enter-to-win platform.

Ivy Funds will be provided additional activation opportunities at the state-of-the-art stadium, including placements on LED and IPTV displays as well as hospitality and entertainment accommodations to enhance the gameday experience for company guests.

Moreover, Sporting KC players and coaches will attend community-based events to support charitable causes tied to Ivy Funds.

Ivy Investment Management Company is an affiliate of Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. (NYSE:WDR).

Through its subsidiaries, Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. provides investment management and financial planning services to clients throughout the U.S.

The firm had approximately $136 billion in total assets under management at June 30, 2014. Ivy Investment Management Company serves as investment advisor to the Ivy Funds, while Ivy Funds Distributor, Inc. serves as principal underwriter and distributor to the Ivy Funds.