MetLife Stadium's $400 million deal
When the NFL season kicks off next month, 22 of the league's 32 teams will be playing in stadiums with a corporate name. The New York Giants and New York Jets are the latest teams to tap this lucrative revenue stream, signing MetLife to the richest naming-rights deal in NFL history.
Naming-rights deals are particularly valuable to teams because they provide a way to recoup some of the multimillion-dollar investment necessary to build new stadiums. For companies, the rights are a valuable piece of a larger sports-marketing portfolio. Why haven't some teams yet landed big corporate sponsorships? In some cases it's legacy (Lamebau Field); in others it's delusions of grandeur (Cowboys Stadium). In rare instances, it's the inability to find any deal at all.
For an overview of the 22 NFL stadiums with naming-rights deals, click here
Brian Finkel is fielding offers from teams willing to put his name on their stadium. To submit your request, please message him on Twitter @thefinktank.
Bank of America Stadium Tenant: Carolina Panthers
Year Opened: 1996
Cost to Build: $248 million
Cost of Naming Rights: 20 years, $140 million
Bank of America (BAC) bought the naming rights to the stadium in 2004 when the sponsorship deal of LM Ericsson (ERIC) expired. BofA had previously been the team's financial-services partner before expanding the relationship. Headquartered in downtown Charlotte, N.C., BofA is the largest U.S. corporation with an NFL naming-rights deal.
CenturyLink Field Tenant: Seattle Seahawks
Year Opened: 2002
Cost to Build: $360 million
Cost of Naming Rights: 15 years, $75 million
Monroe (La.)-based telecom CenturyLink (CTL) took over the stadium's naming rights earlier this year when it completed a buyout of Qwest Communications. Qwest originally put its name on the home of the Seahawks in 2004, two years after the building opened.
Edward Jones Dome Tenant:
St. Louis RamsYear Opened:
1995Cost to Build:
$280 millionCost of Naming Rights:
12 years, $31.8 million
St. Louis-based brokerage firm Edward D. Jones
signed on as the Rams's naming partner in 2002. The stadium previously was known as the Trans World Dome, but American Airlines (AMR) didn't want to keep the naming rights after it bought bankrupt TWA. As part of a smaller sponsorship deal with Russell Athletics, the stadium was renamed Russell Athletic Field at Edward Jones Dome for a day in 2006.
EverBank Field Tenant:
Jacksonville JaguarsYear Opened:
1995Cost to Build:
$121 millionCost of Naming Rights:
5 years, $16.6 million
Jacksonville (Fla.)-based EverBank
purchased the naming rights to city-owned Jacksonville Municipal Stadium last July. The stadium hadn't had a naming partner since Alltel's agreement expired in 2007. With more than 400 signs featuring EverBank's name, the company is branding the stadium far more intensely than Alltel did.
Farmers Field Tenant: TBD
Year Opened: 2016 (estimated)
Cost to Build: $1.2 billion (estimated)
Cost of Naming Rights: 30 years, $700 million
With neither the commitment of an NFL team nor a shovel in the ground, Farmers Insurance signed the largest facility naming-rights deal in history for the proposed downtown Los Angeles stadium. The agreement tops the previous record set in 2006 by Citi Field's $400 million naming-rights deal. By signing the deal before construction, Farmers receives additional publicity during the building phase. In the event the stadium is never built, the company likely will pay little, if anything.
FedEx Field Tenant: Washington Redskins
Year Opened: 1997
Cost to Build: $250 million
Cost of Naming Rights: 27 years, $205 million
When the Redskins announced the deal in 1999, FedEx (FDX) Chief Executive Officer Fred Smith said it "made sense from a global perspective" because of Washington's access to foreign embassies. At the time, the naming-rights deal was the most lucrative in sports history. FedEx also owns the naming rights to FedEx Forum in Memphis.
Ford Field Tenant: Detroit Lions
Year Opened: 2002
Cost to Build: $430 million
Cost of Naming Rights: 20 years, $40 million
Is there a more appropriate naming-rights partner for the home of the Detroit Lions? Not only is Ford (F) the largest company in a city known for its rich automotive history, but William Clay Ford Sr., the youngest grandson of company founder Henry Ford, owns the NFL team.
Gillette Stadium Tenant: New England Patriots
Year Opened: 2002
Cost to Build: $325 million
Cost of Naming Rights: 15 years, $105 million (extended from 2017)
Gillette bought the stadium's naming rights in 2003 for an undisclosed amount of money. Previous sponsor CMGI (MLNK) had to revise its Patriots sponsorship following the bursting of the dot-com bubble. Gillette, which has since been purchased by Procter & Gamble (PG), recently extended the naming-rights deal, from 2017 to 2031.
Heinz Field Tenant: Pittsburgh Steelers
Year Opened: 2001
Cost to Build: $281 million
Cost of Naming Rights: 20 years, $57 million
The relationship between Pittsburgh's first families—the Heinzes and the Rooneys, who own the Steelers—predates this naming-rights deal by several decades. Not coincidentally, the total value of the agreement pays homage to Heinz's (HNZ) most famous Ketchup product: Heinz 57.
Lincoln Financial Field Tenant:
Philadelphia EaglesYear Opened:
2003Cost to Build:
$512 millionCost of Naming Rights:
21 years, $139 million
Naming rights were granted to Lincoln Financial Group
in 2002, a year before the Eagles's stadium opened. The sponsorship was part of an LFG marketing campaign aimed at heightening name recognition among the public.
LP Field Tenant: Tennessee Titans
Year Opened: 1999
Cost to Build: $290 million
Cost of Naming Rights: 10 years, $30 million
Nashville-based construction company Louisiana-Pacific (LPX) took over the stadium's naming rights in 2006, four years after previous sponsor Adelphia's name came off the building following a missed payment and a bankruptcy filing. LP has done a fantastic job of activating its stadium sponsorship, creating concession stands and restrooms decorated to look like homes built with LP products.
Lucas Oil Stadium Tenant:
Indianapolis ColtsYear Opened:
2008Cost to Build:
$720 millionCost of Naming Rights:
20 years, $122 million
Although the company is headquartered in Corona, Calif., Lucas Oil Products
was already a Colts sponsor and had strong business ties to Indiana when it committed more than $120 million for naming rights. The company can expect from $30 million to $40 million worth of media exposure when it hosts the 2012 Super Bowl.
M&T Bank Stadium Tenant: Baltimore Ravens
Year Opened: 1998
Cost to Build: $220 million
Cost of Naming Rights: 15 years, $75 million
M&T Bank's (MTB) 2003 naming-rights purchase coincided with the company's decision to acquire Allfirst Bank and move into the Baltimore market. Has the investment paid off? These days, M&T is the second-largest bank in Baltimore by market share.
Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Tenant: Minnesota Vikings
Year Opened: 1982
Cost to Build: $68 million
Cost of Naming Rights: 3 years, $6 million
The city of Minneapolis gave the Vikings permission to sell naming rights when the Twins and the University of Minnesota football team moved into their own stadiums in 2010. Since the Vikings hope to build a new facility in the next few years, the team settled on a short-term naming-rights deal with the iconic Mall of America.
MetLife Stadium Tenant:
New York Giants, New York JetsYear Opened:
2010Cost to Build:
$1.6 billionCost of Naming Rights:
25 years, $400 million
The Giants and Jets thought they had sold naming rights in 2008 to Allianz (ALV:GR), but the financial services company's ties to Nazi Germany caused that deal to fall apart. Next, online dating site Ashley Madison
offered to rename the Meadowlands as AshleyMadison.com Stadium, though this was seen as nothing more than a publicity stunt. MetLife (MET) had been paying $7 million a year as one of the stadium's four cornerstone partners before upgrading to this bigger deal.
O.co Coliseum Tenant: Oakland Raiders
Year Opened: 1966
Cost to Build: $25 million
Cost of Naming Rights: 6 years, $7.2 million
Overstock.com (OSTK), which recently changed its name to O.co, bought the naming rights as a branding move. The deal underscores the growing significance of Web addresses. O.co Coliseum becomes just the second major U.S. sports facility to have a sponsor's website in its name; the other is Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz.
Qualcomm Stadium Tenant: San Diego Chargers
Year Opened: 1967
Cost to Build: $27 million
Cost of Naming Rights: 20 years, $18 million
Previously known as Jack Murphy Stadium for the legendary local sportswriter, Qualcomm (QCOM) bought the stadium's naming rights back in 1997. Because San Diego wanted to continue honoring Murphy but wasn't allowed to use his name in the stadium's official title, the city named the surrounding land after him.
Raymond James Stadium Tenant: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Year Opened: 1998
Cost to Build: $169 million
Cost of Naming Rights: 13 years, $32.5 million (since extended through 2015)
The original 13-year naming-rights deal between Raymond James (RJF) and the Bucs was set to expire in 2011, but they extended the agreement through 2015. Raymond James's corporate headquarters are located across Tampa Bay in nearby St. Petersburg, Fla.
Reliant Stadium Tenant:
Houston TexansYear Opened:
2002Cost to Build:
$352 millionCost of Naming Rights:
32 years, $320 million
This was the most lucrative naming rights deal in the NFL until the ink dried on MetLife's new contract with the Giants and Jets. Reliant Stadium is part of a collection of venues, including the neighboring Reliant Astrodome, which are collectively called Reliant Park. In 2009 Reliant Energy changed its name to RRI Energy
Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium Tenant:
Denver BroncosYear Opened:
2001Cost to Build:
$365 millionCost of Naming Rights:
25 years, $150 million
Invesco (IVZ) had its name on the home of the Broncos since the stadium opened in 2001, but a change in business strategy made the entitlement deal expendable. Earlier this year, the Broncos approached Invesco about letting Sports Authority
take over and extend the agreement. Invesco called the stadium's naming-rights swap a "win-win for all parties."
Sun Life Stadium Tenant: Miami Dolphins
Year Opened: 1987
Cost to Build: $115 million
Cost of Naming Rights: 5 years, $37.5 million
No facility has undergone more name changes in the last five years than the home of the Dolphins. Although Pro Player filed for bankruptcy in 1999, the name remained on the stadium through 2005. The building was called Dolphins Stadium from 2005 to 2006, then the "s" was dropped and it became Dolphin Stadium from 2006 to 2009. Next, through a partnership with Jimmy Buffet, the facility spent a year as Land Shark Stadium. Although the latest deal with Sun Life (SLF) provides some naming-rights stability, the Dolphins could have made more money if the stadium hadn't already had so many names.
University of Phoenix Stadium Tenant: Arizona Cardinals
Year Opened: 2006
Cost to Build: $455 million
Cost of Naming Rights: 26 years, $154 million
The home of the Arizona Cardinals and the college football Fiesta Bowl is named for the leader in online education. Ironically, the actual University of Phoenix doesn't have any intercollegiate sports teams, nor is the stadium located in Phoenix. It's in suburban Glendale.