Naming rites

Published on .

Marketers have chipped in more than $3 billion to bring us the modern-day coliseums of pro sports. Naming rights deals have plastered corporate monikers across more than 50 facilities used by MLB, NFL, NBA or NHL franchises. H: home teams, S: sponsor, N: notes, C: comments and grades are in bronze.

Alltel Stadium, Jacksonville, Fla. H: NFL Jaguars S: Alltel N: formerly Gator Bowl; got $135 million renovation after Jacksonville joined NFL in 1994; $6.2 million, 10-year pact. C: Despite the brand awareness benefit, don't be the one to rename a classic old stadium. B-

America West Arena, Phoenix H: NBA Suns, NHL Coyotes S: America West Airlines N: opened in 1992; $26 million , 30-year deal made in 1989. C: Good early bargain for America West. B+

AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami H: NBA Heat S: American Airlines N: $42 million, 20-year package. C: A new deal in Dallas suggests this wasn't working. C

American Airlines Center, Dallas H: NBA Mavericks, NHL Stars S: American Airlines N: opened in 2001; $195 million, 30-year arrangement. C: Building built with sponsors in mind. A

Arco Arena, Sacramento, Calif. H: NBA Kings S: Atlantic Richfield Co. N: $7 million, 10-year deal. C: Extra credit for early signing. B

Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim (Calif.) H: NHL Mighty Ducks S: Perrier Group of America's Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water N: opened in 1993; $19.5 million, 13-year deal. C: Ownership interest in building is unique. B+

Bank One Ballpark, Phoenix H: MLB Arizona Diamondbacks S: Bank One Corp. N: opened in 1998; $66 million, 30-year deal. C: "The BOB" was not the catchphrase the bank was hoping for. B

Comerica Park, Detroit H: MLB Tigers S: Comerica (banking) N: opened 2000; $66 million, 30-year pact. C: Regional deal. B

Compaq Center, Houston H: NBA Rockets S: Compaq Computer Corp. N: $5.4 million, six-year pact; new Houston Arena opens next year. C: Short-term deal for a disappearing brand. B-

Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis H: NBA Indiana Pacers S: Conseco (insurance) H: opened in 1999; $40 million, 20-year deal. C: Unique venue for a financially troubled company. B-

Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, N.J. H: NBA New Jersey Nets, NHL New Jersey Devils S: Continental Airlines N: new pact signed last year reduces fee to $29 million over 12 years. C: Gets extra credit as first airline deal. A-

Coors Field, Denver H: MLB Colorado Rockies S: Adolph Coors. Co. N: opened in 1995; $15 million deal over indefinite period. C: Extra credit as the first open-ended arrangement. A-

Delta Center, Salt Lake City H: NBA Utah Jazz S: Delta Air Lines N: opened in 1991; $25 million, 20-year deal. C: Jazz success helps this small-market deal. B

Edison International FIELD OF ANAHEIM (Calif.) H: MLB Angels S: Edison International N: renamed in 1997; $50 million, 20-year pact. C: Hosting a World Series is a home run. B

Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis H: NFL Rams S: Edward Jones N: facility opened in 1995; sponsor this year signed $31.8 million, 12-year package, replacing Trans World Airlines after it was acquired by American Airlines. C: Three names in seven years. C-

Ericsson Stadium, Charlotte, N.C. H: NFL Carolina Panthers S: Ericsson N: opened in 1996; $20 million, 10-year deal. C: Brand studies showed this worked for Ericsson. A-

FedEx Field, Landover, Md. H: NFL Washington Redskins S: FedEx Corp. N: $205 million, 27-year deal. C: FedEx overpaid. C

First Union Center, Philadelphia H: NBA 76ers, NHL Flyers S: First Union Corp. (merged with Wachovia Corp. in 2001, took Wachovia name) N: facility renamed in 1998 after First Union acquired CoreStates; $40 million over 30 years; expected to become Wachovia Center. C: Who was in charge of checking the acronym? C

FleetCenter, Boston H: NBA Celtics, NHL Bruins S: Fleet Financial Group N: opened in 1995; $30 million, 15-year deal; Fleet got naming rights through acquisition of Shawmut National Corp., changing name from Shawmut Center. C: Renamed facilities aren't our first choice, even in a great sports market. B

Ford Field, Detroit H: NFL Lions S: Ford Motor Co. N: opened this year; $40 million, 40-year deal. C: Lots of good will built into this arrangement. B+

Gaylord Entertainment Center, Nashville H: NHL Predators S: Gaylord Entertainment Co. N: opened in 1996; $80 million, 20-year deal. C: Single major pro tenant, regional exposure. B-

Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass. H: NFL New England Patriots S: Gillette Co. N: opened this year; Gillette this summer succeeded CMGI on 15-year pact; Gillette is believed to be paying less than the $114 million that Internet company CMGI agreed to in 2000. C: Despite a new name, it's a first-timer in this product category. B+

Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati H: MLB Reds S: Great American Insurance N: $75 million, 30-year signing for park that opens next year; replaces the 32-year-old Riverfront Stadium, itself renamed Cinergy Field in 1996 for Cinergy Corp. C: Would be perfect if baseball were still the great American pastime. B-

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh H: NFL Steelers S: H.J. Heinz Co. N: opened in 2001; $57 million, 20-year bargain. C: Rock-bottom deal for the sponsor now linked to the NFL. B+

HP Pavilion at San Jose (Calif.) H: NHL Sharks S: Compaq Computer Corp. (now merged with Hewlett-Packard Co.) N: opened 1993; became Compaq Center in 2000; 15-year, $47 million pact C: Extra credit for naming brand (Pavilion PCs). B

HSBC Arena, Buffalo H: NHL Sabres S: HSBC USA N: opened in 1996; name changed in 1999 in a $24 million, 30-year deal. C: Renamed facility in a small market. C+

Invesco Field at Mile High, Denver H: NFL Broncos S: Invesco Funds Group N: opened in 2001; $120 million, 20-year deal. C: Fans demanded Mile High in the name. B

KeyArena, Seattle H: NBA SuperSonics S: KeyCorp N: opened in 1995; $15 million, 15-year deal. C: One major tenant. B-

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia H: NFL Eagles S: Lincoln Financial Group N: opening next year; $139.6 million, 20-year deal. C: Too early to really tell. B

MCI Center, Washington H: NBA Wizards, NHL Capitals S: WorldCom's MCI Communications Corp. N: $44 million, 13-year deal signed in 1995. C: See Enron ... oh wait, you can't. C-

Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh H: NHL Penguins S: Mellon Financial Corp. N: $18 million, 10-year pact signed in 1999 that renamed Civic Arena. C: Igloo coolers would have been a better choice. C

Miller Park, Milwaukee H: MLB Brewers S: Miller Brewing Co. N: opened in 2001; $41.2 million, 20-year deal. C: Not necessarily a good idea to be connected to baseball in Milwaukee. B-

Minute Maid Park, Houston H: MLB Astros S: Coca-Cola Co.'s Minute Maid Co. N: Enron in 1999 signed $100 million, 30-year pact; Astros this year paid bankrupt Enron $2.1 million to buy back rights; MM in $170 million, 28-year deal. C: Expensive, like their O.J. C

Nationwide Arena, Columbus H: NHL Blue Jackets S: Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. N: opened in 2000; $135 million deal for indefinite period. C: Ownership/location make sense. A-

Network Associates Coliseum, Oakland, Calif. H: MLB Athletics, NFL Raiders S: Network Associates N: formerly Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum; in 1998, Network Associates signed for $5.8 million, five years. C: Cheap deal with short commitment. B-

Office Depot Center, Sunrise, Fla. H: NHL Florida Panthers S: Office Depot N: opened in 1998; Office Depot last month announced a 10-year package, paying slightly less than the $25 million agreed to by National Car Rental Center, which abandoned its deal after parent ANC Rental Corp. filed for Chapter 11 last year. C: Renamed building used by struggling NHL franchise. C

Pacific Bell Park, San Francisco H: MLB Giants S: SBC Communications' SBC Pacific Bell N: opened in 2000; $50 million, 24-year arrangement. C: Terrific new-stadium "glow." A

Pepsi Center, Denver H: NBA Nuggets, NHL Colorado Avalanche S: PepsiCo N: opened in 1999; $68 million, 20-year deal. C: Pouring rights in a new facility help recoup the investment. A-

Philips Arena, Atlanta H: NBA Hawks, NHL Thrashers S: Philips Electronics N: opened in 1999; $185 million, 20-year deal. C: Marketing platform built into the arena with multiple tenants. A

PNC Park, Pittsburgh H: MLB Pirates S: PNC Bank Corp. N: opened in 2001; $30 million deal good through 2020 baseball season. C: New-stadium glow still in effect. B+

Pro Player Stadium, Miami H: MLB Florida Marlins, NFL Miami Dolphins S: Pro Player N: formerly Joe Robbie Stadium; in 1996, Pro Player signed $20 million, 10-year pact; it fell apart when PP parent Fruit of the Loom filed for bankruptcy; new sponsor being sought. C: Wouldn't be the first choice for available venues. D

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego H: MLB Padres, NFL Chargers S: Qualcomm N: in 1997, Qualcomm paid city $18 million to complete expansion of Jack Murphy Stadium; pact good until 2017. C: Great price for a two-tenant facility and Super Bowl in 2003. A-

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla. H: NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers S: Raymond James Financial N: opened in 1998; $32.5 million, 13-year deal. C: Relatively cheap national exposure for a glutted area. B-

RBC Center, Raleigh, N.C. H: NHL Carolina Hurricanes S: Royal Bank of Canada's RBC Centura N: opened in 1999 as Entertainment & Sports Arena; negotiations completed last month on an $80 million, 20-year deal. C: At least they sponsor Canada's game. B-

RCA Dome, Indianapolis H: NFL Colts S: RCA/Thomson Consumer Electronics N: built in 1983 by city as expansion to convention center, formerly known as Hoosier Dome; in 1994, RCA signed for $10 million, 10 years. C: Cheap, but was a renaming package. B-

Reliant Stadium, Houston H: NFL Texans S: Reliant Energy N: expansion team's stadium opened this year; Reliant signs $300 million, 32-year pact for five-building complex. C: Major bucks but significant exposure and direct selling opportunities. B+

Safeco Field, Seattle H: MLB Mariners S: Safeco Corp. N: facility replaced Kingdome in 1999; $40 million, 20-year deal. C: Give credit to any operation that can say it replaced the Kingdome. A-

St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Fla. H: NHL Tampa Bay Lightning S: St. Petersburg Times N: deal to rename Ice Palace signed this year; $30 million-plus over 12 years. C: A regional brand renaming a facility with a struggling franchise. D

Savvis Center, St. Louis H: NHL Blues S: Savvis Communications Corp. (Internet services) N: facility replaced Kiel Center in 1994; Savvis signed for $70 million, 20 years in 2000. C: Have you picked up we don't like renamings? C-

SBC Center, San Antonio H: NBA Spurs S: SBC Communications N: opened this year; $41 million, 20-year arrangement. C: Good price but too early to tell. B

Staples Center, Los Angeles H: NBA Clippers, Lakers; NHL Kings S: Staples N: opened in 1999; $116 million, 20-year package. C: Flagship arena for L.A. area with three major tenants-and no NFL competition. A

Target Center, Minneapolis H: NBA Minnesota Timberwolves S: Target Corp. N: opened in 1990; $18.8 million, 15-year pact. C: Logical connection for Minnesota-based company. B

TD Waterhouse Centre, Orlando H: NBA Magic S: TD Waterhouse Group N: formerly Orlando Arena; $7.8 million, five-year pact. C: The financial companies just keep adding up. C

Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla. H: MLB Tampa Bay Devil Rays S: PepsiCo's Tropicana Products N: Suncoast Dome opened in 1990; renamed in 1996 in $46 million, 30-year deal. C: First orange juice sponsor hurt by forgettable franchise. C

United Center, Chicago H: NBA Bulls, NHL Blackhawks S: United Airlines N: opened in 1994; $25 million, 20-year package. C: Bulls' success had a lot to do with value creation. A-

Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minn. H: NHL Minnesota Wild S: Xcel Energy N: opened in 2000; $75 million, 25-year pact. C: Let's hope NHL hockey in Minnesota works this time around. B

Sources: media reports, teams, sports facilities

Most Popular
In this article: