Posts Tagged ‘Bartram Sponsorship Strategies’

New Naming Rights Deals Show Promise: Part 2

Monday, December 9th, 2013
Photo Credit: Brant Ward/The Chronicle

Photo Credit: Brant Ward/The Chronicle

As mentioned in this blog on Friday, two major naming rights deals were announced last week in the Bay Area that could pave the way for similar deals. While both involved recently renovated civic properties whose naming sponsorships will provide much-needed funding, the deals were quite different.

On Friday, we reviewed City National’s renaming of the San Jose Civic, and how the deal may portend success for the eventual renaming of San Francisco’s Masonic Auditorium and other older urban venues undergoing renovation. Today we explore Kabam’s 15-year, $18 million naming rights deal with the University of California to name their football field Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium.

The Kabam deal is most interesting for the fact that it names a subset of the stadium (the field) and basically asks people to flip the field name with the stadium name. Referring to it as such may occur on occasion at Cal, given the generosity of the sponsorship and the fact that so many Kabam execs and staff have Cal ties, but it won’t be referred to as “Kabam” by the average game attendee. It will likely be referenced most often on TV broadcasts, particularly on the Pac 12 Network. This exposure would appear to be the most valuable visibility feature of the sponsorship.

However, this deal is about more than the commercial naming of the field. As a Cal alum, Kabam’s CEO, Kevin Chou, wanted to make a financial commitment to the university and had great support from the numerous Cal grads on his team. That makes this a creative form of “strategic philanthropy,” providing a win for all involved. In addition to the naming deal, Kabam committed incremental funding for a scholarship program that ties back to other education-supporting elements of the arrangement.

The implications of this for other properties relate primarily to the elevation of a secondary position to that of a lead level sponsorship. It would have been politically difficult, if not impossible, to change the name of the stadium itself, especially given Cal and Berkeley’s socially progressive environment. In fact, the field re-name would likely have been passionately resisted had it gone to a traditional major corporate buyer – or to a target such as a financial institution or petroleum company. Instead, the administration took the path of least resistance and arranged a deal with an alum-led innocuous tech company with a clever name (inspired by the old Batman TV show).

For other venues that have long-established names, the deal offers a precedent for treating a high value secondary sponsor as a virtual naming partner. This will come in handy when the name of a sponsored venue is either too valuable to its constituents to change, or so locked into its stakeholders’ consciousness that no amount of money will get people to use the new name.

Such will be the case with the Santa Clara Convention Center, which we are representing for major corporate sponsorship. Changing the name of a convention center would be difficult given the range of corporate events that are held at such a facility day in and day out, and the value of having “Santa Clara” attached to the building is highly valuable to local government and businesses. It’s much more desirable to retain the municipal name but attach a strong second tier position. Hence, the highest level sponsorship at the venue will be a “presenting” level, which may be positioned as the “Santa Clara Convention Center Powered by Company.” The marketing of this name and the benefits package that comes with the deal will then be where the value has to add up for the sponsor. We see the SCCC deal as being another game changer that will serve to move the needle further on naming of existing venues. More on the SCCC opportunity soon – stay tuned!

Eventful Times in the Bay Area

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

With so many events and major sponsorship properties developing in the San Francisco Bay Area, it’s a great time for sponsorship marketers and corporate buyers to consider new options. With the recently concluded and highly successful America’s Cup World Series races proving the viability of that property, the year ahead will have an entirely new sports property in the mix, along with new opportunities associated with pro sports, museums, and major celebrations.

Some exciting opportunities to consider include:

  • America’s Cup – events in October 2012, then summer and fall of 2013
  • 49ers new stadium – opening in 2014
  • New Exploratorium science center – opening on the Embarcadero in April 2013
  • Bay Bridge re-opening celebration – part of a 2013 Year of the Bay program, opening to take place Labor Day weekend 2013
  • Orpheum Theatre naming rights and year-round Broadway series naming – on the market for the first time
  • Snow White 75th Anniversary at the Walt Disney Family Museum – November 2012-March 2013, followed by other world class exhibitions
  • SF Giants and Oakland A’s post season  – MLB is thriving in the Bay Area and it’s not too early to consider sponsorship of the 2013 season

Companies considering exploration and investment in any of these properties can receive expert counsel and an inside perspective from BSS, the regional leaders in major corporate sponsorship development. Give us a call or drop a note to discuss these or other large scale regional opportunities. We negotiate smart, creating strategic, commercial programs to leverage the best sponsorship properties available.

We wish you the best for the rest of the year and for all your sponsorships and events to come.


Happy 75th Birthday, Golden Gate Bridge!

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Big celebrations planned for 2012 to honor iconic structure

We are thrilled to be involved in developing sponsors for the celebration of the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th Anniversary. The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy has been contracted to develop a year-long celebration that will include a major festival on Memorial Day weekend 2012, a series of 75 Tributes conducted by high-profile community partners and significant upgrades at the visitor’s area on the south (SF) side of the bridge.

We are working with the Parks Conservancy to develop the sponsors needed to promote and fund these activities. Download the one sheet to learn more about the celebration and the sponsorship opportunities available. Please contact us if your company would be interested in participating and keep checking here for more news.