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Mercy Health, FC Cincinnati Strike Partnership as MLS Ambitions Grow

By Fumi Kimura, 11/13/17, 10:30AM EST

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CINCINNATI, OH --- Mercy Health, a Catholic health ministry serving Ohio and Kentucky, and FC Cincinnati formally announce that they have formed a partnership in support of FC Cincinnati’s bid to join Major League Soccer. Upon a successful outcome in December, the partnership would represent one of the largest jersey sponsorship commitments in MLS and is on par with Atlanta United’s deal with American Family Insurance. Specific terms of the partnership will not be disclosed due to FCC and Mercy Health policy.

“Mercy Health’s partnership with FC Cincinnati reaffirms the strength of the business community’s support for FC Cincinnati’s MLS vision. With an assist from Premier Partnerships, two incredible organizations are coming together for the benefit of our community by bringing MLS to the Queen City,” said Carl H. Lindner III FC Cincinnati majority owner. “Mercy Health’s long-standing history and the nearly $1 million in daily community benefit it extends across their footprint is commendable. We look forward to enhancing that impact with our commitment and partnership in building community gardens, soccer camps for underserved communities, health events and screenings and more. This is a great day for the city of Cincinnati and for our region.”

“As a native of Ohio, I know first-hand how passionate our communities are about coming together to rally around causes that matter and the teams that are close to their hearts. FC Cincinnati’s successful track record and meteoric popularity is nothing short of impressive. The team and their passionate fans have really put our region on the map,” said John Starcher, Mercy Health President and CEO. “We are excited to partner with an organization that has engaged our community so strongly and are thrilled FC Cincinnati is committed to joining us in positively impacting lives across Ohio. We’re pleased to join forces and support FC Cincinnati’s bid to be an MLS franchise team.”

Next month, FC Cincinnati will find out if it is one of the next two teams to be given a spot in the MLS, representing the highest caliber of play in the United States.

A mockup of the jersey was unveiled during the press conference, featuring Mercy Health’s logo on the chest with a diamond pattern and MLS crest. The jersey is for illustration purposes, does not represent an official MLS or USL jersey and is not available for purchase.

FC Cincinnati, majority owned by Cincinnati businessman and philanthropist Carl Lindner III, joined the United Soccer League in 2016. The club, led by President and General Manager Jeff Berding, has garnered national and international headlines after eclipsing several USL and U.S. Open Cup attendance records and is recognized as one of the hottest soccer franchises in the country. For more information on FC Cincinnati, visit www.fccincinnati.com or follow the team on Twitter (@fccincinnati), Facebook (/fccincinnati) or Instagram (@fccincinnati). For tickets visit fccincinnati.com/tickets or call (513) 977-KICK.

Mercy Health (formerly Catholic Health Partners) is the largest health system in Ohio and one of the largest health systems in the United States, employing more than 34,000 employees in Ohio and Kentucky. With $6 billion in assets, Mercy Health operates about 450 health facilities, including 23 hospitals, eight senior living communities, five hospice programs and seven home health agencies. Its accountable care organization, Mercy Health Select, is one of the top 10 ACOs in the country for Medicare Shared Savings, generating more than $15 million in savings in 2014. In keeping with its mission, Mercy Health provides about $1 million per day in community benefit services. For more information, visit www.mercy.com or connect with Mercy Health on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Twitter (@mercy_health).