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Jun 24th


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Venue Naming Rights – What’s the Deal?

So what’s in a name? Well, when it comes to sponsorship and naming rights it often means a large sum of money tied to a long-term and high-profile contract. According to The Sponsorship Report UK, US$750 million is spent annually on naming rights of sport venues. With the US accounting for $US434 million of that spend, top deals in Canada ringing in at US$3.2 million per year, and the biggest reported deal of Etihad Airline’s US$30 million per year to name Manchester City’s home soccer stadium, it’s clear that naming rights is BIG business.

But is a big venue naming rights deal right for every company?

In short – no. As with any successful sponsorship, the partnership has to align with the company’s brand while driving specific, measurable, business objectives. And, since most naming rights deals are generally longer terms, the vision for such a partnership needs to be planned a strategic, long-term view.

To gain the most value from their investment, brands taking a first look at naming rights should consider, for starters:

  • Proximity to corporate head office and/or major market
  • Marketplace and political sensitivities
  • Brand strengthening and awareness objectives
  • Business objectives: client hospitality, recruitment, employee engagement, corporate citizenship, onsite sales, to name a few
  • Long-term market potential

One recent deal that checks some of the above criteria is the partnership between Levis Strauss and the San Francisco 49ers. Not only did this deal get press for it’s utter size – second largest naming deal among current NFL deals at $220.3 million over 20 years – but also for including an apparel company as naming deals are normally left to financial service companies, telecommunications, airlines, etc. These two iconic Bay Area brands bring a great deal of local history, recognition and familiarity – and share many of the same values with each other and their audience. The basic elements are there for both sides to tell a great story and benefit from a strong partnership.

What will truly make or break this deal is how it’s leveraged and embraced by fans and media. With the recent announcement of Super Bowl 50 to Levi’s Stadium in 2015 the stakes just got even higher.

Time will tell if Levi’s recognizes the potential of this opportunity and can create unique and meaningful ways to engage fans…or this could be one very expensive denim runway show.


About Score Marketing Inc.

Score Marketing Inc. is one of Canada’s leading sponsorship authorities. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, our company specializes in sponsorship marketing – with primary focus on Canadian brands and properties. For brands, we help to build award-winning sponsorship strategies and activation programs that support business objectives and drive meaningful, measurable results. For properties, we help to secure amazing corporate partners (think corporate soul-mates), maximize the overall revenue-generation potential of rights-holders, and generate positive sponsorship results. www.scoreinc.ca


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