By C. Coward
San Antonio becomes the eighth WNBA franchise to garner a marquee sponsorship that includes a sponsor logo on the front of team jersey. Spurs Sports & Entertainment signed an agreement with the supermarket chain H-E-B to showcase the retailer’s logo on the front of a redesigned jersey. Team owners also announced during a Tuesday press conference a rebranding of the team that includes a new logo and dropping “Silver” from the franchise name. The team is now the San Antonio Stars. All of the changes will be reflected in the 2014 season.
“Strong brands continue to be attracted to the WNBA, not only for its elite athletes, outstanding entertainment and high level of play, but also for its authentic connection to their communities,” said WNBA president Laurel Richie. “Today’s announcement marks a milestone in the long standing partnership between H-E-B and the Stars, and we look forward to the great things these two iconic Texas brands will do together in 2014 and beyond.”
The Stars’ new primary logo utilizes the familiar silver, black and white color palate and features the San Antonio Stars wordmark above a shooting star. The secondary logo contains a stylized “S” above the shooting star.
“The new look for the Stars provides an updated design that more closely aligns with the brand and feel of our entire Spurs family of teams,” said Rick Pych, president of business operations for SS&E. “We have been very fortunate to have H-E-B as our business and community partner for well over 20 years and they are the perfect fit to be the first-ever marquee sponsor for the Stars.”
Last year, H-E-B and SS&E announced a five-year renewal as corporate and community partners. H-E-B is the presenting sponsor of the Spurs 2013-14 season and will be the presenting sponsor for the Stars 2014 season. H-E-B also has a presence with the San Antonio Rampage (AHL) and Austin Toros (NBA Development League).
“We’re elated to expand on our collaboration with Spurs Sports & Entertainment as the first-ever marquee sponsor for the Stars, ” said Cory Basso, H-E-B Group vice president of marketing and advertising. “The WNBA is the premier women’s sports league in the world and we want to continue to support women’s sports and make a positive impact in our community.”
The 2014 campaign will mark the Stars’ 12th season in San Antonio. The team relocated from Utah in 2003 and was then known as the Utah Starzz, one of eight original WNBA franchises.
The now ownerless Los Angeles Sparks previously had a jersey sponsorship with Farmers Insurance. Foxwoods Casino was previously on the front of New York Liberty jerseys. Other teams with corporate logos on jerseys:
“Obviously, putting H-E-B and the Stars together means joining two iconic Texas brands. For me, this is where I do all of my shopping anyway, so it’s a double-bonus. Hopefully we will be able to represent the great organization that H-E-B is, not only to San Antonians, but all across the state of Texas. It’s something we’re proud of … and here, everything is better.”
“We all shop at H-E-B, it’s our store, and we appreciate the support we receive from the fans and the community. It’s always nice when you’re out and see the fans, whether it’s at an H-E-B or somewhere else, supporting you off the court. The community we have here in San Antonio is fantastic.”
Coach Dan Hughes
“I’m absolutely thrilled with the partnership with HEB. I think it signifies a wonderful day in the history of the Stars. Having a marquee sponsor like HEB facilitates a signal of growth.”
“Communicating our name as the Stars is something we have done within the organization for a long time, so I think this signifies a really good day for the future. The fact that we are now branded as the Stars and sponsored by HEB makes the timing just perfect, and I am just thrilled for the future of the WNBA in San Antonio in partnership with HEB. I am looking forward to the Stars and the great days ahead.”