Members of the Fresno Football Club will wear jerseys featuring the El Mexicano brand when they begin play in Fresno. Image via Fresno Fuego
Written by Edward Smith
The long-running partnership between Mexican food brand El Mexicano and Central Valley soccer has extended itself into a 2-year agreement with the up-and-coming Fresno Football Club, according to a press release from the club.
The Fresno Foxes will sport the El Mexicano logo on the front of their jerseys for both the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
“We’re proud to announce this partnership with El Mexicano. It’s a relationship that testifies to what Fresno FC is about, and that is elevating the soccer culture here in the San Joaquin Valley,” said Fresno FC general manager Frank Yallop. “What Jaime Marquez Sr., Jaime Marquez Jr., and El Mexicano built back in the early 2000s has grown into pro soccer arriving in the Central Valley and we’re delighted to come together and move forward as Fresno Football Club plays its inaugural season in the USL.”
In addition to the front-of-jersey sponsorship, the El Mexicano brand will appear on training gear for the staff and players on both the men’s and women’s Fresno FC teams.
The partnership between Marquez Brothers International—the parent company of El Mexicano—and soccer in the Valley began in 2003 when the company, along with two other partners, founded the Fresno Fuego FC. After a number of years with the team, the father-and-son team of Jaime Marquez Jr. and Sr. sold off a majority of their shares with the soccer club to the Fresno Grizzlies because they felt they could better handle the day-to-day and take the organization to a higher level, according to Jaime Marquez Jr.
The long-running relationship made El Mexicano the longest-tenured soccer jersey sponsorship in the United States, according to a press release.
Ray Beshoff then brought the Fresno Fuego under the umbrella of Fresno FC in 2017, while the Marquez family still hold a minority stake in the organization.
“We’re very proud and delighted to continue our tradition of supporting soccer in the San Joaquin Valley through our partnership with Fresno Football Club,” said Jaime Marquez Sr., executive vice president of El Mexicano and Marquez Brother International. “Our support started 16 years ago when we began Fresno Fuego FC, and to see it grow to the pro level with the USL is a phenomenal accomplishment.”
The inaugural jerseys will be unveiled Friday at a release party at Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company in downtown Fresno at 6 p.m.
The season begins March 17 at Chukchansi Park against the Las Vegas Lights FC.