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updated: 1/16/2012 10:27 PM

Fire, Quaker Oats close in on deal

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Chicago-based Quaker Oats Co. is in line to be the Chicago Fire's next shirt sponsor.

The Fire, which went through 2011 without a corporate logo on its jersey after Best Buy did not renew its three-year contract, has been in talks with Quaker for months. Those talks appear to finally be reaching a conclusion with the Pepsi subsidiary.

Crain's Chicago Business reported Monday night that Quaker will pay the Fire between $1.3 million and $1.5 million a season.

However, the Daily Herald has learned the contract is closer to the $2.5 million a season that Best Buy paid. The Fire already has been designing jerseys with the Quaker logo on it for the 2012 season.

The contract, when finalized, will be a major coup for Fire owner Andrew Hauptman and team president Julian Posada, who joined the Fire in September 2010 and has spent much of the time since searching for a new shirt sponsor, placing an emphasis on Chicago companies.

The tough economic climate made Posada's search difficult, as did the Fire's failure to reach the MLS playoffs the past two seasons. The Fire was one of the few teams in MLS without a shirt sponsor last year.

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