Minnesota United today announced a three-year sponsorship with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross), making the health care company its first-ever official Training Jersey sponsor.

As the official Training Jersey partner and presenting partner of MNUFC preseason, Blue Cross will have its logo on all MNUFC training tops. Additionally, all preseason coverage and content will be sponsored by Blue Cross.

A major component of this agreement focuses on a shared commitment to community engagement. Through the creation of “Soccer Nights in Minnesota,” Blue Cross and Minnesota United will host a series of grassroots community celebrations to promote safer and healthier communities. To support these celebrations, Minnesota United will utilize its strong community ties to youth soccer throughout the Greater Twin Cities area to organize and execute each event.

“Teaming up with MNUFC is a great fit with our commitment to promote both individual and community health,” said Kirstie Foster, vice president communications and social responsibility. “We are excited to join in Minnesota United’s efforts to engage with young people in projects that foster important life skills like teamwork, good health and community pride.”

This year, the four Soccer Nights will engage the communities surrounding the locations of both Allianz Field and Blue Cross in Saint Paul and Eagan, respectively. Each event will bring in young players and build excitement for active and healthy living across the Twin Cities through appearances by MNUFC players, by providing a youth soccer clinic and collaborating with local youth soccer clubs to help raise funds for their seasons.

Blue Cross is also the presenting partner for the Unified Team, with Blue Cross having prominent inclusion in all branding and content surrounding the Unified Team, including the cross and shield logo on training jerseys and Unified captain’s armband. The agreement will also include a Title Night at Allianz Field after an MNUFC home game when the Unified Team will play post-match. The Title Night will include in-game promotions and a co-branded gate giveaway.

“We are thrilled to have found a partner in Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota who believes in helping everyone be their best selves on the field and in the community,” said MNUFC CEO Chris Wright. “As the presenting partner of our Unified team and having their name emblazoned on our training jersey, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is showing its support for soccer’s ability to bring people of all backgrounds and abilities together.”

Special Olympics launched the Unified soccer program in 2017 to bring together athletes both with and without intellectual disabilities on a single team. Together, athletes and partners improve their physical fitness, sharpen their skills, challenge the competition and help overcome prejudices.

Blue Cross joins Pepsi, Allianz Life, Target, Bell Bank, Allina Health and others in a robust list of corporate sponsors of Minnesota United FC.