FC Cincinnati announces TQL as stadium naming rights sponsor

FC Cincinnati will open newly named TQL Stadium with a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 1. Photo provided by FCC

FC Cincinnati announced Total Quality Logistics as its stadium naming rights sponsor Wednesday.

The Clermont County-based company signed onto a multi-year deal for arguably the most visible sponsorship connected to FC Cincinnati outside of the Mercy Health logo on the kits.

TQL Stadium is set to open May 1 with a ribbon-cutting and some team practices ahead of the home opener May 16.

The naming rights partnership includes signs inside and outside the stadium, a branded bar and branded seating area. Club president Jeff Berding noted during a recent stadium lighting ceremony that a naming rights sponsor will have signage added to the stadium and the company logo will be moving across the LED lighting on the exterior fins.

“We are thrilled to partner with TQL, a highly respected business that has grown from a start-up to industry leader, right here in the Queen City,” Berding said in a press release. “TQL is known for their high-energy culture and cutting-edge technology. There are a lot of synergies that make this alliance between TQL and FCC a perfect match and are reflected throughout the stadium — from the fin lighting to the TQL beer district. Like FCC, TQL is a leader in a growing sector and operates on national and international stages. The long-term stadium naming rights deal is important to the club’s growth and ability to attract top players to Cincinnati. We are excited to call TQL Stadium our home.”

TQL is Cincinnati’s largest privately held company, on track to do $5 billion in revenue in 2021 with more than 5,000 employees in 56 offices throughout the country. Through TQL Cares and the TQL Foundation, the company has sought to make a positive difference in the community, as well. In 2020, TQL and its employees contributed over $2 million to more than 3,000 nonprofits, including Cincinnati-based Boys and Girls Club, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the USO of Central & Southern Ohio.

In this new partnership, FC Cincinnati and TQL will work closely together on making an even greater impact in the Cincinnati community through meaningful initiatives in 2021 and beyond, according to the club’s press release.

“TQL Stadium is an investment in Cincinnati,” TQL President Kerry Byrne said in the press release. “The city means a great deal to us. It is where we were founded and have been headquartered since 1997 — we are thrilled to have one of the most incredible stadiums in the country here, which will now have our name on it. This partnership allows us to reward our employees, increase our national brand awareness, drive recruitment of prospective hires and support our charitable efforts in the community and across the country. Cincinnati is our home, and we are proud for TQL Stadium to be the home of FC Cincinnati.”

Rumors began swirling earlier this month when TQL was among the companies listed as being subpoenaed in court documents related to FC Cincinnati’s lawsuit against Premier Partnerships for a breach of contract. FCC hired Premier in 2017 to help the club with finding sponsors, including the stadium naming rights deal. The club filed the lawsuit last summer stating that Premier was negotiating deals that wouldn’t work for FC Cincinnati or were against what MLS would allow.

That trial is set for September, but recently FC Cincinnati filed a Request for Status Conference indicating they were “in the process of negotiating a transaction that would significantly impact the nature and issues in the litigation.” Premier subpoenaed two major companies in Cincinnati as part of that case, including TQL and Proctor & Gamble, which recently signed on as an MLS partner and already has sponsorships with FCC.

Keating, Muething & Klekamp PLL partner William Minor, one of the attorneys representing FC Cincinnati, declined to comment on the case, citing pending litigation.

According to court documents a motion to dismiss was filed in November. A telephone report for status conference was held March 30, and the next court date is April 29 for a status update following a stay of depositions. Pre-trial is set for Sept. 2 and trial begins Sept. 20, though a source familiar with the case said it’s possible the parties settle.

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