PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Timbers and Providence Health & Services today announced a new deeply integrated community partnership. The multiyear deal is founded in health and wellness initiatives and events throughout the region as well as a name change of the Major League Soccer (MLS) club’s historic downtown home venue to Providence Park, which annually plays host to home games for the Timbers, Portland Thorns FC and a wide variety of sports, entertainment and community-related events.
Providence, a not-for-profit health care provider committed to giving back to the communities it serves, and the Timbers made the announcement together today at Providence Park. The robust and integrated partnership features a number of important community initiatives, including the revival of the Special Olympics Oregon Fall Games in 2014, outreach efforts through the Timbers’ Stand Together platform, and partnering on youth soccer camps and field-related projects. Providence will become a Founding Partner of the Portland Timbers Community Fund and a presenting partner of the Timbers’ Hispanic community outreach platform, “Somos Timbers.”
“Just like Providence, the Timbers and Thorns have a proven track record of giving back to the community,” says Dave Underriner, chief executive for Providence in Oregon. “Together, we’ll bring the spirit of the people of Providence alongside the Timbers and Thorns to reach out to the community in new and exciting ways.”
The new partnership between the Timbers and Providence, Oregon’s largest private employer, expands upon an established relationship between the two organizations. Built as part of recent renovations to the stadium, the Providence Sports Care Center is a 12,000 square foot, state-of-the-art sports care center located at the Southeast corner of Providence Park, and serves both the community and professional athletes. Providence will continue as the presenting partner and primary jersey partner of Thorns FC, the defending National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) champions, and the team’s community initiatives.
"I am thrilled to announce our new, expanded community partnership with Providence Health & Services,” said Merritt Paulson, president of the Timbers. “This partnership signifies a huge commitment to the community from the largest private employer in Oregon, which will keep Providence Park the name of our facility for years to come. Additionally, I want to thank JELD-WEN for their past and continued significant commitment to the Portland Timbers."
JELD-WEN Windows & Doors, the stadium naming-rights partner for the Timbers’ first three seasons in MLS, will continue to serve as one of the club’s Founding Partners and will continue its involvement in the Timbers’ community outreach, including the Score-a-Goal, Plant-a-Tree program. JELD-WEN Windows & Doors will remain the Official Window and Door Provider of Major League Soccer and the Timbers.
“JELD-WEN has greatly enjoyed being a part of the Timbers’ community. We are looking forward to continuing our involvement as a founding partner and our association with the team and the sport,” said Bill Hueffner, vice president for JELD-WEN. “We are extremely proud to have been one of the original supporters and sponsors of the team and the stadium at a monumental time in both of their histories.”
As part of the partnership with the Timbers, Providence will continue to share its health and wellness initiatives for youth, including the Play Smart heart screening and concussion awareness programs, through the annual Health & Fitness School Days for local youth in conjunction with Portland Timbers U-23s games at Providence Park. Providence is already committed to the “Tix for Kids” program, providing tickets for local underprivileged youth to attend home games for the Timbers and Thorns.
“Every Timbers game is a teachable moment to encourage fitness and wellness at any age,” said James Beckerman, M.D., cardiologist for the Providence Heart and Vascular Institute and the Timbers. “Standing together, with the Timbers, we look forward to inspiring the people in our communities to be more active, lead healthier lives and have fun.”
Providence Park will be a home site for the first Special Olympics Oregon Fall Games since 2008. The Fall Games will provide more than 600 athletes, 200 coaches and an additional 200 volunteers from across the state of Oregon the opportunity to compete and participate in a variety of events, including soccer. The stadium will continue to serve as the home to several popular health and wellness events, including the Providence Bridge Pedal Health & Wellness Expo and kickoff activities for Providence Hood to Coast.
"What an honor to partner with the Portland Timbers and Providence Health & Services to promote health and wellness in our great state," said Margaret Hunt, CEO of Special Olympics Oregon. "The return of Special Olympics Oregon's State Fall Games is going to make thousands of Oregonians with intellectual disability and their families statewide very, very excited. For our athletes to play soccer at Providence Park is a dream come true."
The multi-dimensional partnership will provide Providence with exclusive exposure and signage inside and outside of Providence Park, including marquee signage at the main entrances; state-of-the-art, field-level LED signage during Timbers and Thorns FC home matches; and additional promotional elements throughout Providence Park’s concourses.
Providence Park will play host to a variety of sports and entertainment events each year, including home games for the Timbers, defending-NWSL champion Thorns, and select Timbers U-23s games. Additionally, Providence Park will be the site of collegiate and high school athletic events, youth soccer camps, community events, concerts, and both private and public functions utilizing the many state-of-the-art amenities and gathering spaces at the downtown Portland venue. Fans will be able to access up-to-date information on Providence Park and its complete calendar of events in the coming days at www.ProvidenceParkPDX.com.
Note to media: All references to the Timbers and Thorns FC’s home stadium now should be Providence Park.
About Providence Health & Services
Providence Health & Services – Oregon offers a comprehensive array of health and education services through its eight hospitals, medical clinics, health plans, long-term care facilities and home health services. With more than 17,000 employees, Providence is the state’s largest private employer. Visit www.providence.org/oregon.
About Providence Park
Providence Park is an iconic sports and entertainment facility located in the heart of downtown Portland, Ore., at 1844 SW Morrison. Providence Park will play host to a wide variety of events each year, including games for the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer and Portland Thorns FC of the National Women’s Soccer League, college and high school football and soccer, concerts, community events and public and private functions. The home for professional soccer in Portland since 1975, Providence Park underwent a significant renovation crafted to create one of the most unique and authentic soccer environments in the country ahead of the Timbers debut season in MLS in 2011. Originally constructed in 1926, Providence Park is an historic civic gathering place that has played host to some of the region’s most memorable events, including presidential visits, a 1957 concert by Elvis Presley, the National Football League’s first game decided by overtime, Pele’s official last professional game and the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup. For more information, visit www.ProvidenceParkPDX.com.