Philadelphia Union's Jersey Sponsors... Bimbo Bakeries

Philadelphia Union's Jersey Sponsors... Bimbo Bakeries

2010 was the year of the Zolo for the Philadelphia Union, but 2011 could be the year of the Bimbo. After a pure inaugural season, the the Inquirer reports that the Union will today announce a four-year, $12 million sponsorship with Bimbo Bakeries that may see the letters B-I-M-B-O on the front of each player's jersey. To quickly clear up a common mispronunciation, the Mexico-based company's name is pronounced beembo. So now that we've cleared that up, surely no one will make reference to the team as the Bimbos in the pronunciation we're all accustomed to. I don't think I've heard anyone make reference to another person as a bimbo in the past decade, but we could have a resurgence on our hands.

So much for my completely far-fetched dream of having Victory Brewing Company sponsor the team... 

Union fans who saw the team play Chivas de Guadalajara last season will remember the look of the Bimbo logo on a soccer jersey, although that was on a kit that shared Bimbo's red, white, and blue color scheme. No word yet on whether it will be modified to fit the Union gear, but I guess that could be the one thing we find out at today's sponsorship unveiling with the main news already having been broken. 

The Inquirer reports that the Horsham-based US arm of the company operates 34 bakeries, including Entenmann's and Stroehmann. Bimbo has been trying to spread the word about the proper pronunciation in a variety of ways, including placing billboards:

Hopefully the partnership is beneficial to both sides, though it's hard not to feel the Union will take a major branding hit. This is why they're being paid, and it's nothing new. Prominent sponsorship on soccer kits is a common and accepted part of the game worldwide, and while it's hard to imagine wanting to buy a Union jersey as much this year as last, it's hard not to be happy that our side just pulled in $12 million, even if it comes with a look many people won't find to be ideal. As is the case with nearly every club, the classic team name, crest, colors, and kit design will take a back seat to the branding of the sponsor, replaced by the word 'BIMBO' in whatever pronunciation and connotation is natural to the viewer. Union fans are for the most part a team-first lot, so I could see them putting in the effort to pronounce it correctly for the team and sponsor's sake, but also their own. 

The casual observer? We'll have to see. 

Photo by Flickr user jeffs4653.

6 months later, Cubs' Kyle Schwarber returns for World Series Game 1

6 months later, Cubs' Kyle Schwarber returns for World Series Game 1

CLEVELAND — Chicago Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber's rehab finished just in time for the World Series.

Schwarber will bat fifth and be the designated hitter for the National League champions in Game 1 on Tuesday night against Cleveland's Corey Kluber. Schwarber hasn't played in the majors since tearing ligaments in his left knee on April 7 in a collision with teammate Dexter Fowler.

Dallas Cowboys orthopedic surgeon Dr. Daniel Cooper operated 12 days later to repair torn anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments. He was expected to miss the rest of the season but was cleared to return on Oct. 17.

Schwarber played a pair of games in the Arizona Fall League, going 1 for 6 with a double and two walks, and flew to Cleveland on Monday.

Nerlens Noel undergoes surgery on sore left knee

Nerlens Noel undergoes surgery on sore left knee

Nerlens Noel has had surgery on his sore left knee, and the Sixers have not disclosed a timetable for the disgruntled center's return.

Noel has been out since the team's first preseason game. He initially had a left groin strain before experiencing soreness in the knee during rehab, and it was discovered he had an inflamed plica. 

The team is calling the surgery a "minor elective arthroscopic procedure." It was performed in New York by Dr. Riley J. Williams at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Noel eventually will travel to Birmingham, Ala. to rehab with associate clinical director Kevin Wilk at Champion Sports Medicine.

The Sixers expect to have a timetable for his return once Noel returns to Philadelphia. According to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Noel is expected to miss three to five weeks. 

This has been a rough preseason for Noel, who hasn't hidden his displeasure with his role on the Sixers' jammed frontcourt. The team has until Oct. 31 to extend his rookie contract but, per a report in the Inquirer earlier this month, the two sides have yet to discuss it.