A year before the team launches at Polar Park, the Worcester Red Sox (Class AAA; International League) have capped the number of founding partners at 21–three times the number the owners were hoping to sell.
While it became apparent early on that the WooSox would enjoy a high level of popularity, the fact that the bigger-buck sponsorships so early exceeded expectations is a surprise. The team had been hoping to enlist six or seven founding sponsors, but ended up capping the number of founding partners at 21. From the Worcester Telegram:
City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. said the team originally sought six or seven corporate sponsors who would each contribute $100,000 to $200,000 per year for three to five years. The WooSox ended up capping the initial group of corporate sponsors at 21 and they will combine to contribute what Lucchino said will be several million dollars during the team’s first few years at Polar Park.
The WooSox have dubbed the 21 founding corporate partners the “21 Club” in part because the team is scheduled to begin playing in Worcester in April 2021.
“I did say I worried that the Achilles’ heel of this entire project is the business community and I didn’t mean to insult anyone,” [WooSox Chairman Larry] Lucchino said. “I was just trying to be descriptive, but they took it and ran with it and came up with a level of corporate support that was greater than what we had before. And plus their level of enthusiasm and civic energy and civic concern struck us very favorably.”
Rendering courtesy City of Worcester.
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