Posts Tagged ‘San Jose’

New Naming Rights Deals Show Promise: Part 1

Friday, December 6th, 2013
Photo Credit: Vicki Thompson

Photo Credit: Vicki Thompson

Two new major naming rights deals were announced this week here in the Bay Area, each of which could create a ripple effect of other deals here and elsewhere. Each involved a financially challenged civic property whose naming sponsorships provide much-needed funding following major renovations of the venues. However, each deal was quite different in its scope, inspiration and visibility.

The two deals to which I am referring are:

  • City National Bank’s naming of the old San Jose Auditorium – now the City National Civic. The deal was announced this week in San Jose with a value of $1.2 million (gross) over a five year term.
  • Kabam’s naming of the football field at Cal’s Memorial Stadium – now Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium, announced yesterday by Cal and Kabam execs. The terms of the deal are $18 million over 15 years, plus additional scholarship funding.

The impact of these deals should be very positive for other public or semi-public venues with naming or other major sponsorship opportunities available including the Masonic Nob Hill Auditorium in San Francisco, a jewel of a building that provides a high value naming platform; and a presenting level sponsorship position for the Santa Clara Convention Center, which happens to be a block from the 49ers new Levi’s Stadium. We’ll have more on each of these platforms later.

Taking it one deal at a time, the City National deal was very interesting for these reasons:

  • It follows another naming deal City National did in SoCal in 2011, the City National Grove of Anaheim. Evidently they saw good results from the first naming and know how to use such a sponsorship to generate a return.
  • The Civic (as most people will likely refer to it) has been renovated, so the company is not just attaching its name to an old building but an upgraded one that is poised for a solid run of more and better events.
  • The building is older and the events it hosts are an eclectic mix of concerts, family shows and private events, so it attracts a diverse array of audiences.
  • The location and connection to City government are of value to City National – having a named venue in such a strategically important spot carries high value for a financial services firm that is trying to stand out and compete with bigger companies in the space.

This deal portends well for the Masonic opportunity given some similarities and some differences that favor San Francisco’s historic Nob Hill theater. Live Nation now operates the theater and is undertaking significant renovations to modernize the building. This is the natural time to market a naming position and to make such a name change, as it is more likely to be accepted by the public and to be of greater value to the investing company.

Part 2 on Monday will explore the Cal Kabam deal and support the concept of how a second tier sponsorship can be positioned as the equivalent of a venue naming deal – if handled correctly and thoughtfully by all involved.

49ers Taking Right Approach to Partnership for New Stadium

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Recent developments with two high-profile properties in the San Francisco Bay Area feed into the hope I expressed in my last blog post. Both the San Francisco 49ers and the people organizing the bid to host the America’s Cup yacht races have talked about engaging with corporations in more sophisticated forms than what may have been the case prior to the economic downturn.

The 49ers are moving forward with grand plans for a new stadium in Santa Clara and admittedly have their work cut out for them, economically speaking. Given that the new stadium will be in the heart of the Silicon Valley, it is critical that they crack the tech sector for sponsorships and hospitality sales. Historically, tech companies are not the most active sponsors, and most regional sponsorship properties have difficulty generating much revenue from the sector. However, if a property truly engages companies in the space with their interests in mind and finds ways to integrate technology in a meaningful way, the major players will step up. Witness Cisco and the planned new Oakland A’s stadium (Cisco Field, now being planned for development in San Jose).

The 49ers are talking about making their new stadium the most technologically advanced in the country with an eye on fan experience enhancement, revenue generation and partner engagement. The organization is led by a group of young executives who seem to really get it and understand the need to talk the talk of the tech companies. They are not trying to force the tech companies to just see the value in working with a storied NFL franchise. By engaging the big corporate players on the latter’s terms, finding ways to meaningfully integrate tech products and services into the stadium experience, and extending to the larger media marketplace, the 49ers will generate much greater support from the sector. It is harder work to go in this direction but is, ultimately, the only way to generate the major sponsorships that will be needed to help cover the $800 million price tag of the new stadium. It’s exciting to see their forward-thinking approach to corporate partnerships.

I’ll provide more insights about San Francisco’s America’s Cup bid shortly, and will follow soon with some developments on the greening of Infineon Raceway.