BrandDunk

Branding the World of Sports

Posts Tagged ‘Venue Naming Rights’

AdAge article on stadium sponsorship lists BrandDunk

Posted by ZA on June 16, 2010

Rich Thomaselli used some quotes from our conversation in his AdAge article (click here) on how the Meadowland landing the 2014 Super bowl might help naming rights deal on that stadium.  I thought Rich had a good angle on this story because those events will help to land bigger naming rights deals for Jets/Giants and Cowboys Stadium.  That is likely one of Jerry Jones ulterior motivations behind bringing these major events to Jerry World.

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Historic Rosenblatt gives way to TD Ameritrade

Posted by ZA on June 16, 2009

Right now one of the best, and least heralded, sporting events in the World is occurring at a stadium in the heartland of America.  The 2009 College World Series is being played at historic Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska.  The College World Series, or CWS as it is commonly called, is the postseason tournament to decide the NCAA Division I Champion from men’s college baseball.  The tournament brings together 8 of the best teams to compete in a double elimination tournament.  What makes it so great is the emotion these teams and their fans display; the emotions that come out when you have reached your goal (Omaha) and have the championship in sight.

Every division I college baseball player, fan and coach starts the season with one goal in-mind.  That goal is to get to Omaha for the College World Series.  Teams typically play a 40+ game regular season schedule and then a dozen postseason games just to try to earn a spot in the CWS field.  So naturally those fortunate few that make the trip to historic Rosenblatt Stadium are excited to be there.  That excitement comes through as a tangle buzz of emotion that surrounds each game.  And Rosenblatt Stadium is the grand, old ballpark that plays host to that excitement.
For over 50 years the CWS has been played at Rosenblatt Stadium on the outskirts of Omaha.  Rosenblatt is full of stories about great teams, players or moments that occurred on that field.  It is one of those stadiums that you say ‘if these walls could talk’ because you know it would tell a ton of great stories.

But very soon, that is all going to end.  No, not the College World Series.  That will continue on in Omaha through at least 2035, thanks to a new deal with the NCAA.  But the games will no longer be played at historic Rosenblatt Stadium.

The City of Omaha is currently building a new $128 million dollar stadium that will become the new home of the CWS in 2011.  The new stadium will be located in downtown Omaha and will more closely resemble a modern professional baseball stadium.  That means the stadium will have higher priced club seating and luxury suites, which bring in more revenue.  Following another tradition common with professional stadiums; the new stadium will have a corporate sponsor paying for the naming rights to the stadium.  TD Ameritrade announced on June 10th that they would be to be the title sponsor of the new ballpark, paying approximately $20 million over the next 20 years.  That means the new home of the College World Series in Omaha will be named TD Ameritrade Park, not Rosenblatt Stadium.

As sad as I am to see Rosenblatt Stadium put out to pasture, I understand this is how sports work today.  Sports are a revenue generating venture, so it is necessary for Omaha (and the NCAA) to upgrade the facility to make more money on the CWS.  Part of that money will be made from the aforementioned venue naming rights.  Although it would be great to still have games played at a stadium named for Johnny Rosenblatt, there is a great opportunity with TD Ameritrade.  TD Ameritrade stepped up to the plate to support this venue and thereby the event that will be played there each June.  They should be commended for their investment, and I believe their $1 million per year will be well worth it in the exposure they receive.  Their name is now linked to one of the best events in college sports and will be on the lips of media around the country.  So it’s easy to see how they will recoup their annual investment in the CWS.

But it will be sad to longer see games after 2010 CWS at Rosenblatt.  Since I was a kid I have memories of games there.  And there are thousands of fans who have great memories of games at Rosenblatt, that will have to remain memories…because the reality is that after next season there will be no more CWS games played at Rosenblatt.  A great legend of sports will be leaving us, but hopefully it will be adequately replaced by the new venue.

New home of College World Series

New home of College World Series (photo from Wikipedia)

Posted in College Sports, Stadium Construction, Venue Information, Venue Naming Rights | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Dallas Cowboys stadium called Cowboys stadium

Posted by ZA on May 13, 2009

This one was almost too predictable to even mention, but the Dallas Cowboys have decided to name their new stadium Cowboys Stadium.  The new Cowboys Stadium will host its first NFL football game this Fall.  It replaces Texas Stadium which was the home of the Dallas Cowboys in Irving for the past few decades.

The writing has probably been on the wall for some time on this decision.  I think Jerry Jones originally had visions of a 8 figure per year naming rights deal with AT&T or some other corporation.  When the economy tanked those deals dried up, which is why the Cowboys are going with a non-corporate name right now.  I expect Jerry will continue to shop a naming-rights deal to anyone corporations interested in partnering with “America’s Team”.  The opportunity to associate a corporate brand with one of the finest stadiums in the world is too great a chance for exposure to stay on the shelf for long.  I expect it’ll stay as Cowboys Stadium for the start of this season, but at some point this season or next Spring a major deal will be announced that provides some corporation with venue naming right for Cowboys Stadium.

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Dolphins stadium naming rights deal model for future?

Posted by ZA on May 5, 2009

From the buzz going around it sounds like the Miami Dolphins will enter into a one-year stadium naming rights agreement with Anaheuser Busch product, Land Shark Lager.  How does Land Shark Lager have the clout to pull off a major venue naming coup like this?  Landshark beer is part of the marketing arsenal of legendary performer and South Florida native, Jimmy Buffett.  Buffett promotes Landshark Lager under the flag of his “Margaritaville” products.

A Land Shark Lager deal with the Dolphins would be historic for a couple of reasons:
1) It would be the shortest length of time ever cut for an NFL venue naming rights deal.
2) The deal would include an in-kind component, when these venue naming rights are typically just cash.  Jimmy Buffett would play two concerts at the newly named stadium; the team/venue would receive the majority of the profit from these shows as payment on the naming rights deal.

I imagine the one-year deal will be extended if successful.  Of course Land Shark might only want this year when both the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl will bring significant exposure to the South Florida venue.  But it is the fact the team is willing to do trade out on their stadium name that is truly amazing.  The team probably does not have many other suitors willing to step up, so doing this deal insures them revenue in the short-term.  While still keeping open their options for a long-term venue naming rights deal when the economy turns around.

The concerts that are part of the deal is unique, but mostly because an entertainer has never been involved in stadium naming rights.  Payments in kind have been used in many stadium deals, but they are typically only a small portion of the deal or for signage in the stadium, not the entire venue naming rights.  For example the New York Yankees agreed to a deal to include the Casio brand on the outfield wall in exchange for service.

How many other professional sports venues might look for a similar type deal?
Lots of them.  A short-term deal that gives them some cash now, but doesn’t block their ability to sign a more lucrative long-term partnership in near future is attractive to a lot of teams.  The current economy has put a freeze on naming-rights deals, which are a huge source of revenue for many teams.

The downside of these type of short-term naming rights is over exposure.  The risk to teams is that by renting their stadium name for a year they could scare off potential long-term partners who don’t want their company name associated with a revolving door.  The home of the San Francisco Giants (AT&T Park) changed names three times in six years due to acquisitions in the telecom industry, so many fans still refer to it with the original Pac Bell Park name. Corporations could shy away from venues where they think their brand association will be hard to connect due to frequent name changes.

But for teams without stadium naming rights deals the upside of these short-term deals could be too lucrative to pass up.  I’m sure many of them will be watching closely to see how the Dolphins fare in their deal with Land Shark beer.  As I’m certainly many corporations will be eyeing the success of the deal from a brand building perspective.  That is what makes this Land Shark Lager and Miami Dolphins partnership such a historic endeavor in venue naming rights spectrum.  Success will breed a lot of imitation, failure could end it for everyone.

Posted in NFL, Stadium Signage, Venue Information, Venue Naming Rights | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »