Three Benefits for a Company Paying for Naming Rights on Stadiums
Negotiating naming rights to a football, tennis, soccer or other sporting stadium in your marketplace comes with a variety of benefits beyond having your name physically affixed to the structure. If you’re working with a high school or local sports complex, their representatives might not be trained sports marketing experts and might not realize all of the potential benefits associated with naming rights. Dividing your benefits into three main categories will help you list objectives for each and help you maximize your marketing benefits.
Obtaining naming rights to a stadium starts with having the facility named after your business or one of your products and services. The facility might be called Acme Stadium, Acme Field, Acme Arena or another specific name. Choose one name the facility will use to create consistency among your marketing efforts, the way the media refers to the facility and how the sports complex refers to itself in its promotional materials. In addition to having the facility include your company, product or service name in its name, negotiate extra benefits, such as free tickets and signage throughout the facility and other benefits that bring you exposure multiple times during a game, match or meet.
Buying naming rights to a stadium will result in your getting repeated, free mentions of your business or product name on TV, radio and websites, and in newspapers and magazines when media outlets refer to the stadium. Your business name and logo appear in their photos and on camera in their news stories. If consumers get used to hearing your name as part of a stadium, they might begin to use the name in everyday conversation, such as, “Are you going to Acme Park tonight?” Meet with the newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations and websites that cover the stadium's teams or events to discuss whether they will refer to the stadium using your name. If they tell you they will not, this will affect your decision about buying naming rights. Many media outlets will use your name each time they cover the facility, its events and teams so they can gain access to cover the events. Discuss this with the facility, which can contact any media outlets with concerns to ensure you get this benefit.
In addition to having your name painted on or affixed to the structure, you can negotiate many onsite benefits associated with naming rights. These include your logo and the name of the stadium on hallway walls or entrance doors, backs of tickets, in printed promotional materials, on the facility’s websites and on ushers’ uniforms. You might include advertising on the scoreboard and in game programs, a concession booth to sell your product at the game, free product giveaways and free tickets or box seats. If events will be televised, negotiate placement of your logo to fall within camera site lines to increase your on-air exposure. Negotiate exclusivity in your product or service category to prevent competitors from using ambush marketing, and to block teams or events that rent or lease the facility from selling sponsorships to your competitors.
As the naming sponsor of a stadium, negotiate the rights to use your affiliation with the facility, its events and teams in your marketing efforts outside the stadium. Secure the rights to use images of the facility and its events and teams in your printed promotional materials, online, in your broadcast advertising and throughout your place of business. In some instances, you will not be able to associate your business with a team or an event held at a facility. This occurs in cases where a team or event leases the facility and sells its own sponsorship agreements. Discuss with the facility any potential conflicts of interest and negotiate that the facility includes your blocking rights in any leasing or rental contracts information they provide to current and potential users of the stadium.