Portland Timbers unveil new jerseys
unveiled their new Major League Soccer jerseys Thursday afternoon.
## ## The scene inside the cavernous Horizon Airlines hangar at Portland International Airport carried a whiff of haute couture with a show complete with strutting “models,” runways and wine sipping patrons.
The event was billed as the “Runway on the Runway” and possessed a festive atmosphere. However, when all was said and done, the presentation of the new jerseys represented another major step towards the Timbers joining Major League Soccer in 2011.
“This is one of our biggest and most important events,” Timbers owner
,” the team jersey sponsor, across the chest. The alternative jersey _ which could become popular _ is similar to the green jersey except the split jersey has two different shades of red.
“My inspiration was the city of Portland. Just looking at the city and looking at the historical aspects of the city and aspects of the team,” said Maria Beeler, adidas apparell designer for Major League Soccer who designed the Timbers jerseys. “I looked at how green Portland is and then I looked at the past greens (of Timbers jerseys) and complementing that with an additional green. It definitely of modernizing a classic look.”
The players took an immediate liking to the new jerseys.
“They beautiful. Especially with the two different styles _ you got the red and the green,” Portland midfielder
said. “And then the little intricacies with the chevrons in middle and the little timber on the back. I think fans are going to love them.”
The event started with two giant hangar doors opening to reveal an Alaska Airlines 737 700 aircraft adorned with a painted Timbers scarf on one end of the aircraft and a team crest on the opposite end.
The aircraft was rolled into the hangar and the models emerged from the aircraft wearing various Timbers apparel and started walking down the runway.
Alaska Airlines president Brad Tilden said the business marriage with the Timbers goes beyond the airline being the team jersey sponsor, which he said was the largest sponsorship in company history.
“The Timbers represent a lot of the great things about the Northwest. It the spirit, the sense of community involvement and the strength of the Timbers Army,” Tilden said. “People in Portland love the Timbers. When they came to us and asked us if we wanted to be involved, it was a natural fit for us.”
Representatives of both organizations say the repainting of an aircraft to reflect the Timbers scarf and logo is just the beginning of the marketing and advertising. The two organizations have a number of events and announcements planned as part of an expanded advertising and marketing campaign.
One possibility is Alaska employees wearing Timbers jerseys on game days. Another is acknowledging in some way the Timbers fans that fly on Alaska Airlines. Tilden declined to comment on those possibilities, but acknowledged the two organizations have more events planned for the future.
“This is a four year sponsorship. There are many things we will do with it over the next four years,” Tilden said. “But we leave those to the announcements when we do them.”
Mike Golub, chief operating officer of the Timbers, said the team opted to develop fewer, more intimate partnerships with companies in the Portland area.
“It isn just about advertising. It about linking two companies and two brands and the two sets of fans of those two companies in a way that adds value to the fans and helps build an association,” Golub said. “That how we put the deals together. Our philosophy is not sell as many sponsors as we can, but to have really meaningful relationships with a smaller group of sponsors.”
Tilden said he looked at the enthusiastic crowd that included many Alaska Airlines employees 2,400 live in the Portland area cheering at the event and grew even more excited about the future possibilities with the Timbers.
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