Orlando City SC announced this morning that it has sold the naming rights of Orlando City Stadium to Exploria Resorts. The new name of the stadium will be Exploria Stadium.
Headquartered in Clermont, FL, Exploria Resorts was founded in 1995 and operates seven resorts throughout Florida, Tennessee, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. Three of those resorts are in Florida, including locations in Orlando, Daytona Beach, and New Smyrna Beach.
“We are thrilled to have Exploria Resorts join the Orlando City SC family,” Orlando City CEO Alex Leitão said through a press release. “As a club based in the most visited city in world, and one that has fans who support teams around the globe, we are excited to partner with a Central Florida-based company that provides world-class travel and hospitality experiences to visitors. We are looking forward to creating memorable experiences for our fans both at Exploria Resorts and here at Exploria Stadium.”
The announcement marks the first sponsorship of the three-year-old stadium. While neither party would disclose the terms of the agreement, Leitão emphasized it took time to find the right partner.
“We were looking for the perfect partner and we didn’t have to rush,” Leitão said following the announcement. “The moment the right partner comes, so we decided to do the deal.”
“If you look at the demographics of our owners and you look at the demographics of the soccer fan, particularly MLS and here in Orlando, it was the perfect fit,” Exploria Resorts CEO and President Thomas Morris added.
Leitão said that the club had spoken to “a couple of companies” over the past few years but wanted a local partnership. “The same way that we have Orlando Health with us, we felt since the beginning that we have a company that is based in Orlando, they want to grow with us, they understand the city is international.”
The club CEO said that the new deal is important for the investment made in the club in the future. “It’s an important line of revenue and it helps to support all the investment I’ve been doing with the club. If it’s in the team or now with the DA (development academy), the new face of the DA, the new training facility, everything that comes together to help the organization.”
As for Exploria, Morris says that the deal was about adding credibility to the brand. “For us it’s about credibility. Exploria is not a household name and our goal all along was to provide some grand credibility. If you think about how popular soccer is here in Orlando as well as just across the country and how it’s growing, we believe we can leverage that for our brand credibility.”
Morris says that in addition to the official naming rights, the company will have signage, banners, kiosks, and booths throughout the stadium.
Additionally, Morris announced the West Club will be renamed the Exploria Club and that the June 15 House Party at the stadium will be in celebration of the partnership.