(January 17, 2013) - 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.
"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 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.
About Ivy Funds
Ivy Funds offers a broad mutual fund lineup covering all major asset categories, including international and domestic equity funds, asset allocation funds, fixed income funds and money market funds.
Ivy Funds Distributor, Inc. 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 United States. Ivy Investment Management Company serves as investment advisor to the Ivy Funds. Ivy Funds Distributor, Inc. serves as principal underwriter and distributor to the Ivy Funds.
About Sporting Club
Sporting Club is owned by a group of local Kansas City business and community leaders comprised of Neal Patterson, Cliff Illig, Pat Curran, Greg Maday and Robb Heineman. Its flagship Major League Soccer property, Sporting Kansas City, is the only locally owned professional sports team in the city and the club prides itself on its commitment and vision to provide high-performance entertainment and consumer experiences.
Sporting Club purchased the team from the Hunt Sports Group in 2006, and under their direction have opened a world-class training center at Swope Park and state-of-the-art Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., while investing in the Sporting KC Academy for developing youth into homegrown talent. Sporting Kansas City enters its 18th season as a charter member of Major League Soccer and has finished in first place in the Eastern Conference each of the last two seasons. The team will represent Major League Soccer in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League as winners of the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.