CAA Hired to Sell Naming Rights forSan Francisco 49ers’ Proposed Stadium

Creative Artists Agency has been hired to sell naming rights for the $937 million football stadium being planned for the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, California.

The Santa Clara Stadium Authority will use proceeds from the naming rights to pay down the $330 million it has pledged toward the cost of the 68,500-seat facility. CAA will receive a commission of about 5 percent to 10 percent of the gross proceeds from the naming rights agreement, according to an authority report.

Michael Levine, co-head of CAA Sports, a division of privately held Creative Artists Agency based in Los Angeles, said naming rights to a stadium in the heart of Silicon Valley - - about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of San Francisco -- should garner significant interest.

“It provides a unique opportunity to stand out from a crowd,” Levine said yesterday in a phone interview. “You’re talking about a team with a pretty incredible history in the No. 1 sport in this country, and the stadium will be the most identifiable landmark in Silicon Valley; one of the most important places in our country from a growth, innovation and technology perspective.”

NFL teams have had mixed results finding corporations willing to buy naming rights in recent years. The New York Giants and New York Jets opened their $1.6 billion New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, last season and the Dallas Cowboys opened a $1.2 billion stadium two years ago, and neither has been able to find a naming-rights sponsor.

L.A. Deal

In February, Farmers Insurance Group agreed to put its name on a proposed stadium designed to lure the NFL back to Los Angeles. The 30-year naming rights deal with Anschutz Entertainment Group would be worth $700 million over 30 years, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Neither Levine nor John Vidalin, the 49ers’ Chief Sales Officer, would estimate the worth of the naming rights. The team wants one primary sponsor and a handful of lesser backers, called founding partners, for specific areas of the stadium, Vidalin said in a telephone interview.

In addition to putting its name on the building, a naming- rights sponsor will be able to market itself as the exclusive sponsor of the team, get access to behind-the-scenes events, suites, hospitality, activation of its products at the stadium and, where appropriate, contracts to supply products or services to the stadium itself, Vidalin said.

Companies based in the region include Yahoo! Inc., Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT), Intel Corp. (INTC), National Semiconductor Corp. (NSM), Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) and Oracle Corp. (ORCL)

“We feel real bullish about the market,” Levine said. “The market has re-established itself and is in a place where there is a good amount of enthusiasm from the buying community.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Curtis Eichelberger in Washington at ceichelberge@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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