Monumental Taps MP & Silva to Sell Arena Naming Rights

  • Verizon's contract for downtown D.C. arena ends in 2018
  • Monumental owns NBA's Wizards, NHL's Capitals and arena

Ted Leonsis’s Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Washington Wizards and Capitals, has hired MP & Silva to sell the naming rights for the teams’ arena.

Verizon Communications Inc.’s agreement to have its name on the downtown facility expires in 2018. Currently called the Verizon Center, the building is also home to the WNBA’s Mystics and Georgetown University’s men’s basketball team.

The multiyear agreement also puts MP & Silva in charge of all commercial activities -- domestic and international -- for Monumental properties. So, say the National Basketball Association or National Hockey League allows advertising on its uniforms, MP & Silva would be tasked with selling those ads for the teams.

“We view Monumental not only as an organization that owns a top-ranked arena and Washington, D.C.-based teams, but also one that aspires to expand its brands globally,” MSE’s President of Business Operations Jim Van Stone said in a statement.

The arena opened in 1997 as the MCI Center. The telecom bought the naming rights with a one-time payment, atypical for those kinds of sponsorships, which are usually paid for over the life of the deal.

Verizon bought MCI in 2006 and put its name on the facility in the same year.

(Corrects the date when Verizon's naming-rights deal expires in subhead and second paragraph.)
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