In a press release issued yesterday, the Denver Broncos announced a major new partnership agreement with Ford Motor Company. The partnership begins with the 2018 season and will continue for multiple years afterward. Ford will also be the first presenting sponsor of a Broncos training camp, so expect to see plenty of blue ovals if you show up for the first day of camp tomorrow. Expect to see the new slogan featured prominently as well.
#BroncosCountry is Ford Country.— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) July 26, 2018
We've teamed up with @Ford on an integrated multi-year partnership.
» https://t.co/OXf5DpgneJ pic.twitter.com/xPMRtvofee
In addition to signage around the stadium and a prominent presence as a sponsor of events like Taste of the Broncos and the Kickoff Luncheon, Ford will begin popping up across the Broncos’ various social and broadcasting media fronts. The new sponsor will also be highlighted on the scoreboard, via features like the Noise Meter and Mile High Fan Pumper.
With plenty of uncertainty entrenched around the issue of Broncos Stadium at Mile High’s naming rights, it’s easy to get confused about what this new partnership is or isn’t. It’s actually pretty simple, though:
What It Isn’t
While the agreement makes Ford the official truck & SUV of the Broncos, don’t expect to see any signage proclaiming “Ford Field at Mile High”. The automaker did not purchase the naming rights to the stadium, so it remains Broncos Stadium at Mile High for the moment.
Nor is this simply a step in that direction. There’s already a Ford Field serving the NFL, and it’s in Detroit.
Ford didn’t buy the naming rights to the Broncos stadium.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala) July 26, 2018
What It Is
This type of partnership is anything but new, so don’t worry about the Broncos selling out to advertisers... at least, not more than they and the rest of the NFL have chosen to already. This partnership is simply sliding Ford into a role previously held by Buick & GMC who had been the Broncos’ official truck & SUV since 2012. In fact, that deal was announced six years ago to the day.
It’s hard to miss the glaring GMC patch in this photo of Peyton Manning during a Broncos 2014 training camp practice. This year, Ford’s blue oval logo will take its place as a garish guest star on Case Keenum’s chest.
What It Could Be
This is just pure guesswork on my part, but I can’t help but find the Broncos’ choice of automotive partner & timing interesting. After all, it was not so long ago that Ford announced the long-anticipated return of its rugged SUV model, the Bronco. This new generation of the Bronco is expected to debut in 2020, which is almost certainly within the timeline of this new partnership. If there isn’t an advertising campaign featuring an over-the-top Bronco kitted out in orange & blue accessories, and an accompanying special edition for sale in Colorado and surrounding states, then Ford has no idea what they’re doing.
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