'Name recognition is important': Stifel CEO Ron Kruszewski talks Cardinals jersey deal

Stifel has partnered with the Cardinals, Blues, and U.S. Ski & Snowboard in order to increase brand recognition.

'Name recognition is important': Stifel CEO Ron Kruszewski talks Cardinals jersey deal

Stifel Financial Corp. CEO says that the seven-year jersey-logo agreement with St. Louis Cardinals was about name recognition.

The Cardinals announced on Tuesday that Stifel will have its logo on the sleeves of their players' jerseys. The Cardinals did not reveal the amount the St. Louis-based investment banking and wealth management company will pay to sponsor the jerseys.

Stifel signed a five-year agreement with the St. Louis Blues in April 2022 to put its logo on both the home and away jerseys of the National League Hockey Team, starting with the 2022-2023 season.

Six months later Stifel announced that it had signed a four-year contract with U.S. Ski & Snowboard will become the title sponsor for the renamed Stifel U.S. Alpine Team. Three-time Olympic medalist Mikaela Shifrin is part of the team.

Ron Kruszewski, Chairman and CEO of Stifel, threw the first pitch in the Cardinals game after the press conference on Tuesday. "I've done it before, but this was the first time from the pitching bull," he said. Bill DeWitt III, Cardinals president, was the catcher.

Kruszewski stated that the car was not going at 40 mph but was driving straight.

Kruszewski spoke with reporters on Wednesday about the Cardinals' deal.

What was the cause? We have been Cardinals sponsors. Bill and I have known each other for a long time. We just began talking when he called.

When did he contact you? It wasn't that long ago. Maybe a month and half.

Was it on your radar? I had considered it. Sponsoring the Blues was a good idea. Such sponsorships are especially valuable, particularly if they travel. If you name a stadium in a city, then the stadium is located there. Our logo is always with the Blues and Cardinals when they travel. Next week, we will be in Chicago. Stifel will be on Chicago TV. Stifel has clients and offices located in every Major League (Baseball), and NHL city.

Do you see the financial impact of this name recognition? Stifel was founded in 1890. Brand recognition has grown much more slowly in recent years, particularly for my financial services business, than business expansion. This name recognition is very important.

Have you tracked the business impact of the Blues sponsorship? You can check social media impressions on sites. They have improved significantly. The Blues, Ski Team and Cardinals are all combined. Three major sponsors are involved.

What if a wealthy individual from Atlanta watches Sunday Night Baseball, and sees the Cardinals, and also Stifel. They might research Stifel and possibly do business with them? There's no doubt about it, nor with existing clients. Stifel is given a positive light when you link with iconic institutions like the Cardinals who have been around for as long as us, the Blues one of the first expansion teams in 1967, and Mikaela Shifrin's skiing. The first impression is crucial, especially with baseball's 162 games per year.