Inter Miami CF scores again with sponsorship of Florida Blue training facility

Other recent successes for the team include a kit deal with cryptofinance firm XBTO.Images: getty

InterMiami CF continues to flex its commercial muscle in South Florida. The third-year MLS club has entered into a new naming rights deal for its academy with health insurer Florida Blue that will pay the team an undisclosed seven-figure sum each year through 2027.

The 50,000 square foot facility in Fort Lauderdale, which opened in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, will be known as the Florida Blue Training Center for the state’s Blue Cross Blue Shield plan. . The Florida Blue logo will also be worn by Inter Miami players on the upper back of their training tops beginning in 2023.

Although the club have yet to break into the field, they have managed to sell a high-value sponsor inventory. Since commercial director Xavier Asensi joined Inter Miami from Spanish powerhouse FC Barcelona last year, the club has signed a naming rights partnership with Autonation for the DRV PNK stadium; a front deal with cryptofinance firm XBTO; a cover sponsorship with software company Xmanna; an academy featuring sponsorship with Baptist Health; and now the training center takes care of Florida Blue.

“After 18 months, I think we can say that everything has been very smooth and successful,” said Nicolò Zini, Inter Miami’s senior director of partnerships and outreach, who moved from Barcelona to Miami with Asensi. “We’ve built a partnership structure and partnership program that really resonates.”

Only about half of MLS’s 28 teams have round and training ground sponsors. Zini said the club expects to be in the league’s “top five or six” in terms of annual revenue following the recent wave of sponsorship deals.

“We know we have to be at the top of the league in terms of finances and partnerships for two main reasons,” Zini said. “One, obviously, the Miami market is among the biggest along with LA and New York, and two, the power of the brand and the difference we can make with Hispanics.”

Zini said the likelihood of the facility being selected for use in conjunction with the 2026 FIFA World Cup was a key selling point, as the home tournament is expected to highlight all aspects of the sport in North America. . Zini and Benjamin Silver, senior director of business development, brokered the deal for Inter Miami, working primarily with Krystal Ritter, senior director of experiential marketing for Florida Blue.

With key assets locked, Zini said the club would seek to sell sponsorships for the DRV PNK stadium areas and add partners in vacant categories including airlines, cruises and mortgages. The club also has another major naming rights deal on the horizon as it prepares to move into a new stadium in 2025 as part of its Miami Freedom Park development.

Milton S. Rodgers