One might read the sponsorship deal Dye has offered to Aftermath as just one in a long line of similar arrangements but I wonder if there's more to it than that. And I'm not talking about the Big Picture implication of cementing ties between the PSP's principle owner and the owner of the west coast's PSP affiliate league--though that can't be discounted and is no doubt an element of the deal.
Traditionally successful teams attracted sponsorship because of their success but the nature of the relationships was (is) fluid. Some teams/sponsors forged longer term relationships while others didn't but it was all rather hit or miss and team formation mostly remained a product of serendipity; friendships, proximity, luck, etc. (Discounting the factory teams which are no longer anchoring the upper echelon of teams.) Except players come and go as does desire and motivation and it has been a rare accomplishment to see the best teams remain amongst the best for any period of time.
That may or may not be all that big a deal but in an environment where industry is re-thinking its priorities and also adjusting to the new media and a shifting marketplace the idea of branding has gained some momentum. Branding can work a couple of ways; by lifting the product du jour up on the back of a successful and popular brand (in the case of a team) or by tying product to an up and comer where the product is seen as essential to the success of the developing brand. It's a longer term strategy but has real advantages if the risks can be minimized. The primary risks are a failure to ultimately succeed or even survive the term of the deal.
Now take a look at Aftermath. Is Dye counting on this latest batch of kids to fulfill their expectations? No way. Dye is counting on Mike Hinman to do what he has consistently demonstrated he's capable of doing--putting a very competitive team together and on the field, over and over, despite (or because of) a lack of roster continuity.
So did Dye sign Aftermath or did they sign Hinman? I say they signed Hinman. And I will further suggest that if the industry is serious about branding, continuity and minimizing risk they should think seriously about emulating this move by Dye to support the organizations and/or individuals who have demonstrated staying power and the ability to build successful teams.