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Colorado Rapids ink multi-year jersey sponsorship with University of Colorado Health System

Rapids start major branding partnership with a world renowned health-care provider and research institution.

John Babiak

In the coming months fans of the MLS Colorado Rapids First Team, their MLS NEXT ACADEMY program, and select Colorado Rapids Youth Soccer Club teams will be exposed to the first wave of cooperative marketing between the Rapids organization and one of the Rocky Mountain region’s leading employers, University of Colorado Health- UCHealth.

The regional health-care provider employees 29,000 individuals, boasts 12 acute-care hospitals, world-class biomedical research and hundreds of physicians across Colorado, southern Wyoming and western Nebraska.

As part of the relationship, UCHealth is launching “Ready. Set. CO.,” a novel wellness-focused initiative to help restore Colorado as the healthiest state in the United States. UCHealth, the Rapids and Kroneke Sports Entertainment will be cooperatively putting forth health-related community education and outreach programs, health and wellness events, and additional community health investments under a fresh Ready. Set. CO. theme.

The collective aim is to connect all Coloradans with opportunities to lead healthier lives.

As a critical component of the relationship, UCHealth will become the Rapids’ official jersey sponsor through the 2029 MLS season. To help extend the mission of this partnership, UCHealth’s logo will be displayed prominently on the front of Rapids’ jerseys.

Rapids jerseys will symbolize the two organizations’ mutual commitment to encouraging fans, club partners and the Colorado community to join the team and commit to living their best, Colorado healthy lives.

“For years, Colorado has been recognized as the home to some of the fittest, strongest and healthiest populations in the country. The past few years have taken a toll on all of us, both physically and mentally, and it’s time for Colorado to reclaim its status as the healthiest state in the nation,” said Manny Rodriguez, UCHealth’s chief marketing, experience and customer officer. “Ready. Set. CO. is intended to motivate, challenge and inspire all Coloradans to commit to making healthy lifestyle choices.”

Colorado Rapids Executive Vice President and General Manager, Pádraig Smith celebrates with fans at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park after the Rapids secured a playoff berth in 2021.
John A. Babiak. @Photog_JohnB

“The Rapids are committed to being the heartbeat of sport in Colorado so we couldn’t be more excited to partner with a local organization like UCHealth who is not only invested in the well-being of our community, but who has also shown a long-standing support of Colorado sports,” said Pádraig Smith, Colorado Rapids executive VP & general manager.

“This announcement marks a significant day for our club, as the partnership will provide a foundation for both of our organizations to drive healthy living initiatives with our fans and our community. We look forward to having UCHealth be a part of the Rapids family for many years to come.”

Colorado Rapids

“We’re thrilled to announce a partnership of this scale with UCHealth,” said Michael Ceilley, SVP of partnership marketing & media sales for Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.

“As one of the leading health care systems in our state, UCHealth is an extraordinary community partner that impacts the lives of so many Coloradans each day. We’re proud to build on our relationship with UCHealth and welcome them as the Rapids’ new jersey sponsor.”

Colorado Rapids

“UCHealth provides expert medical care and advanced treatment options, but our ultimate goal is to keep our communities healthy and out of the hospital,” said Dr. Abigail Lara, UCHealth’s medical director of health equity and associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “Partnering with the Rapids and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment to launch this initiative allows us another opportunity to connect with Coloradans to truly impact the health of our state.”

Previously, the Club had related sponsorship partnerships with Transamerica, Western Union and the World Financial Group.