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Whew! Fire, Quaker renew sponsorship ties

Shirt sponsorship was last large financial piece of the puzzle for Men in Red in 2015

Atul Khosla, take a deep breath.

The Chicago Fire's financial standing - while impossible to truly track, due to the opacity of the club and MLS - certainly solidified today, as the Men in Red announced that Quaker Oats will remain as shirt sponsor and club partner for 2015 and beyond.

The previous sponsorship deal with Quaker - a three-year agreement that netted the club between $7.5 and $8 million - was due to expire, and the tension of that potential shortfall thrummed through an already-discouraged fan base. Today's news, which does not include dollar figures, at least guarantees that the Fire remain on even footing with every other team in the league in terms of established revenue streams.

The association with Quaker has been a fantastic fit for the Fire. Quaker's a Chicago company, and their reach and marketing nous have elevated what might have been a bog-standard jersey-sponsorship deal.

The front office of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club comes in for a great deal of criticism, whether due to their own insistence on opacity or the questionable provenance of some of the club's decisions. But today, the guys in the suits won one. Well played, Khosla, Andrew Hauptman and the corporate sponsorship team.