Hosting the National Football League’s Super Bowl in 2014 will increase the value of naming rights to the News York Giants’ and Jets’ shared stadium, according to economist Andrew Zimbalist.
Zimbalist, a sports economist at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, said more than 100 million people watch the NFL’s championship game and the New York-area Super Bowl will get extra attention as the first held outdoors in cold weather.
“Whether we’re talking about, over the course of a 20-year deal, a $5 million or $15 million impact, I can’t tell you,” Zimbalist said in a telephone interview. “But having the Super Bowl there creates a lot of attention.”
Jets owner Woody Johnson said in an interview with Bloomberg Television that landing the big game may assist the teams as they search for naming-rights partners. The Giants and Jets are still selling naming rights to the $1.6 billion stadium, which won the right yesterday to host the Super Bowl after the 2013 season.
“We’re in a tough economic cycle right now, but I think bringing the Super Bowl here will help,” said Johnson, 63. “This is a great opportunity for someone who wants a billion eyes on them on one day and all this publicity between now and then.”
The teams ended negotiations with Allianz SE, Europe’s biggest insurer, in September 2008 after protests by Jewish groups that the company once insured Auschwitz. The Star-Ledger newspaper of New Jersey said at the time that a proposed 10-to- 20-year agreement may have brought the franchises between $25 million-$30 million a year.
Mike Cramer, who teaches sports business at New York University, said that while the Super Bowl may help raise the value of the deal, the recession made companies reluctant to pay to name stadiums in recent years.
“The bottom line is that companies will still wonder if spending $20 million or $30 million a year gives them an appropriate return,” said Cramer, the former president of baseball’s Texas Rangers and hockey’s Dallas Stars. “It will certainly help, but I don’t believe that there’s any cure-all for the naming-rights blues.”
Marc Ganis, president of Chicago’s Sportscorp Ltd., a sports business consulting firm, said the Super Bowl will help move the sale forward, justifying the asking price and demonstrating how much attention the teams can generate.
“The naming-rights opportunity has been out there so long that it’s gotten stale,” Ganis said. “They needed some event to kick-start the marketing process. This is that kind of event.”
Zimbalist said the added value for the naming rights comes from repeated mentions of the stadium during the season and the excitement generated by the league breaking precedent to give the game to a location with cold weather and a stadium with no roof.
“It’s going to be mentioned all season,” Zimbalist said. “More than that, it’s the first time they’re playing in a cold- weather stadium, so it’ll get extra attention for that.”