Boyd, J. The richest stadium naming rights deals in US sports. Chartrand, S. Leeds, E. A Stadium by Any Other Name. Journal of Sports Economics, 8 6 , Rovell, D. Sports Marketing Analytics. Academic Affairs. Digital Publications. News Feeds. Social Media. Estate Planning.
Accessibility Map. Emergency Map. The length of stadium naming rights contracts, however, also reduces the availability of these unique marketing opportunities that were relatively few from the start. By , 84 of teams in the four major professional sport leagues had reached venue sponsorship agreements with corporations. Since naming rights opportunities are limited and costs are so high in major league sports, a natural trend of growth would involve expanding beyond major league facilities into middle-tier markets, such as minor league and intercollegiate sports.
There are several benefits why a corporate sponsor invests in a sports facility naming rights opportunity: . Today, stadium naming rights transactions are a lucrative venture, and some teams or stadium owners capitalized on the opportunity to generate significant funds. This table shows that the professional sports industry generates billions of dollars through its stadium naming rights transactions. These figures are likely to increase soon with the Los Angeles Rams looking for a stadium naming rights partner. Even though the majority of North American professional sports stadiums currently have a naming rights agreement, there are some facilities that currently do not have a naming rights partner.
The table below shows the sports facilities of the four major North American professional sports leagues that do not have a naming rights partner  :. As one can see, there are very few sports facilities among the four major North American professional sports leagues that are not named after a person, place, or corporate sponsor. College athletics have become a multi-billion-dollar sector of the sports industry in the United States.
Traditionally, when a university looks for funding to construct a new facility, they have targeted wealthy, generous philanthropists to gift money towards the facility. The donor may be an individual, a foundation, a trust or estate, a corporation, or another non-profit organization. In college athletics, donors typically fall under one of two categories: 1 alumni or 2 sports fans.
Considering philanthropic gifts, there is one major reason why the gifts were and continue to be an avenue to fund an athletics department or a facility: tax deductibility. When a philanthropist donates money to an institution, it is considered a charitable contribution, which is an important funding source for the institution.
As a result, this method of raising funds for the university is a win-win situation for both the university and the philanthropist. In recent times, philanthropic gifts in exchange for naming rights have for the most part been replaced by corporate sponsors. Today, college athletics is a multi-billion-dollar enterprise.
Historically, the NCAA shied away from commercialism to further support their commitment towards amateurism. Academic institutions can establish policies pertaining to corporate naming rights. The President has final approval for naming interior areas, features, objects and spaces. Final decision to name buildings and outdoor areas and spaces rests with the Board of Regents, upon recommendation of the President.
In situations in which a building may be named in recognition of a substantial contribution to the total project costs, the minimum contribution needed for naming and any limits imposed on the number of years it will be named will be specified as a part of the Project Budget approved or amended by the Board of Regents. Each campus of the University of Washington, UW Bothell, UW Seattle, and UW Tacoma, is responsible for directly submitting to the Vice President for Advancement any request for approval of the naming of facilities, including but not limited to buildings, outdoor and indoor areas, features, objects or spaces, at their respective campuses.
Discussions with individual, family, corporate, or other organizational donors who seek naming rights must be conducted with the understanding that the President in the case of interior areas, features, objects or spaces or the Board of Regents in the case of buildings and outdoor areas or spaces reserve final approval of the naming. Any such agreements must be reviewed by Advancement working with the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and will normally be for a fixed term of five years and not in excess of ten years.
The term should be consistent with the contribution. Any agreement to temporarily name an interior feature, object or space must be approved by the President. An agreement to temporarily name an interior feature, object or space may include the right to place a sign or signs on the exterior of a building or an outdoor area; however, such right shall be approved by the Board of Regents upon the recommendation of the President. Any agreement to temporarily name buildings or outdoor spaces must be approved by the Board of Regents upon the recommendation of the President.
The logo of a business entity may be included on the name temporarily affixed to an interior feature, object, space, building or outdoor area if the logo is part of a unique design created in part for the purpose of acknowledging the relationship between the University and the business entity. Inclusion of a logo in a unique design on the name temporarily affixed to an interior feature, object or space shall be reviewed and approved by the President. Inclusion of a logo in a unique design on the name temporarily affixed to a building or outdoor area shall be approved by the Board of Regents upon the recommendation of the President.
This policy will apply to both new and existing interior areas, features, objects, spaces, buildings, and outdoor areas or spaces. In the event of changed circumstances, the University reserves the right, on reasonable grounds, to revise the form of or withdraw recognition. In the event there are any inconsistencies or ambiguities between this policy and other University Naming Rights policies, this policy shall take precedence. Naming Policy . Before proceeding with any naming, institutions must carefully consider all circumstances surrounding the naming, including the overall benefit to the institution and whether displaying the name is and will continue to be a positive reflection on the institution.
Any naming of Facilities and Programs must undergo a high level of consideration and due diligence to ensure that the name comports with the purpose and mission of the U. System and the U.
A Billion Dollar Industry: Are Naming Rights Worth the Money?
System institutions. No naming shall be permitted for any corporation or individual whose public image, products, or services may conflict with such purpose and mission. After approval of a naming, the negotiated gift agreement must be executed within days of that approval. If that does not occur, the naming must be resubmitted for approval by the Board of Regents through the Vice Chancellor for External Relations unless the Chancellor approves a one-time, day extension of the naming approval, consistent with the requirements of Section 2 below.
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Recommendations for namings of any university building or athletic facility, college, school, and academic department or clinical division shall be forwarded to the Board of Regents with recommendations of the Chancellor, the Deputy Chancellor, the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic or Health Affairs, the Vice Chancellor for External Relations, and the president of the institution, according to procedures established by the Office of External Relations.
Other Prominent Facilities and Programs may include wings and other major components of academic, medical, athletics, and arts facilities, large auditoria, concert halls, atria, prominent outdoor spaces, and clinics and academic and health programs, centers, institutes, and organized research units.
The Vice Chancellor for External Relations, in consultation with the appropriate Executive Vice Chancellor, will make final determinations concerning what types of Facilities and Programs will be considered Other Prominent. The Board of Regents has delegated naming authority for Less Prominent Facilities and Less Prominent Programs to each president based on a set of general guidelines that are reviewed and approved by the Chancellor, except that any Corporate Naming requires approval by the Chancellor and compliance with the procedures set forth below in Section 8, including the requirement for advance consultation.
System institutions, will make final determinations concerning what types of Facilities and Programs may be considered Less Prominent. The naming of all streets located on campus must be approved by the Board of Regents. Recommendations for any street names shall be forwarded to the Board of Regents with recommendations of the Chancellor, the Deputy Chancellor, the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic or Health Affairs, the Vice Chancellor for External Relations, and the president of the institution. Honorific namings may be considered for individuals who have made exemplary or meritorious contributions to the U.
System or any of the institutions or society. Any naming in honor of U. System administrative officials, faculty, or staff members or for elected or appointed public officials shall normally occur only after the campus employment or public service has concluded. Under appropriate circumstances, honorific namings of Less Prominent Facilities and Programs may be granted by the president of the institution.
Such naming for a U.
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System administrative official, faculty, or staff member or for an elected or appointed public official will be submitted to U. Facilities and Programs may be named under the terms of a negotiated gift agreement to memorialize or otherwise recognize substantial gifts and significant donors or individuals designated by donors. Each institution shall develop guidelines for what constitutes substantial and significant donations to warrant a gift-related naming.
The Office of External Relations must complete a detailed due diligence review, in accordance with policies and procedures established by that office, of the corporation prior to any Corporate Naming. Certain restrictions may also apply to any proposed naming of a Facility financed with the proceeds of tax-exempt bonds. Corporate namings for academic and health buildings, colleges and schools, and academic departments shall not occur, with the exception of rare and special circumstances. Corporate namings for athletics facilities, arts facilities, and museums, conference centers, and non-academic and non-health facilities may receive consideration with preference given to term limits for corporate namings.
Before negotiating a possible Corporate Naming, the president shall send a written request, in compliance with procedures established by the Office of External Relations, to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic or Health Affairs. Any substantive variations to the standard agreement must be approved by the Office of General Counsel.
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The Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic or Health Affairs shall have authority to sign such agreements after appropriate review and approval. Minor changes to approved or existing names of Prominent Facilities, Programs, and Streets as determined by the Vice Chancellor for External Relations and the General Counsel to the Board may be approved by the Chancellor after review by the Deputy Chancellor, the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic or Health Affairs, and the president of the institution.
Such approved redesignations will be included in the amended CIP. The Vice Chancellor for External Relations, in consultation with the appropriate Executive Vice Chancellor, makes final determinations as to which Facilities and Programs are considered Other Prominent. No institution shall announce the naming of any Facility or Program prior to the final approval required by this Rule.
Other Prominent Facilities — areas such as wings and other major components of academic, medical, athletics, and arts facilities, large auditoria, concert halls, atria, prominent outdoor spaces, and clinics. Less Prominent Facilities — facilities such as laboratories, classrooms, seminar or meeting rooms, and patient rooms that the Vice Chancellor for External Relations, in consultation with the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic or Health Affairs, and the U.
System institutions, determines are less prominent and therefore not within the category of Prominent Facilities. Prominent Programs — major entities, such as colleges, schools, academic departments, and clinical divisions. Other Prominent Programs — academic and health centers, programs, institutes, and organized research units.
Less Prominent Programs — facilities such as laboratories, classrooms, seminar or meeting rooms, and patient rooms that the Vice Chancellor for External Relations, in consultation with the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic or Health Affairs and the appropriate U. System institution, determines are less prominent and therefore not within the category of Prominent Facilities.
Corporate Naming — the naming of any Facility or Program after a corporate or other business-oriented entity. It is the policy of the University to name certain of its facilities buildings, parts of buildings, roads, and plazas and academic units campuses, colleges, schools, departments, centers and institutes , in honor of benefactors individuals, corporations, and private foundations , and persons or other parties who have made substantial contributions to the University or to education in general. The leadership of academic units may forward recommendations for naming of such units to the University President for consideration and subsequent recommendation to the Board of Trustees.
The administrative committee on naming University facilities advises and makes recommendations to the President of the University on appropriate names for specific buildings, parts of buildings, roads, and plazas at all University locations. The committee is composed of the following members:. Communications with the committee should be through the Office of the Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations.
Recommendations for naming a facility assigned to a specific academic or administrative unit will normally originate from the administrative officer of that particular unit. The committee will work closely with the dean or administrative officer to ensure that recommendations reflect University policy. In the case of facilities not assigned to specific units, the committee may generate the initial recommendations, based on available information.
The History of Stadium Naming Rights
Committee recommendations to the President should conform to the objectives outlined above. The committee shall keep a current list of all existing buildings that are appropriate for naming, if accompanied by a gift, deferred gift, or pledge commitment. This list should be reviewed annually by the Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations and other appropriate University officials.
In situations where parts of buildings and plazas may be funded by gifts, final negotiation with potential benefactors should not take place without first seeking the approval of the Facilities Naming Committee and the President of the University. The President, through the committee, will charge the appropriate administrative officer to negotiate with potential benefactors. Under no circumstances should final negotiations take place between an administrative officer of the University and a potential donor in naming a building or road without first seeking the approval of the Facilities Naming Committee and the President of the University.
If a building name is not forthcoming at the time the building has been completed, and a name is needed for identification purposes, only a generic name should be used, thus reserving the prerogative to bring forward a name that meets the established criteria at a later date. Generic names may appear on the Board of Trustees consent agenda for approval.
In situations where a naming opportunity exists for an academic unit, the President has the authority to make final recommendations to the Board of Trustees for consideration and action. The Board of Trustees shall have the authority to revoke the name of a University facility or academic unit in the event that the benefactor for whom the facility or academic unit was named:. Prior to the approval of a name revocation by the Board of Trustees as provided in this paragraph, the University shall provide the benefactor, or a representative of the benefactor, the opportunity to voluntarily relinquish the name from the University facility or academic unit, as the case may be.
A Brief History of Stadium Naming Rights
Fast forward to the last few years and stadium naming rights transactions with corporate sponsors in college athletics have continued to grow in popularity. As far as corporate stadium naming rights transactions are concerned, proved to be an active year. As illustrated above, these naming rights transactions for the most part have gotten more lucrative since the Syracuse University-Carrier deal in With the ever-increasing costs of full cost of attendance scholarships, academic support, facilities, travel, and litigation, it can be expected that college athletic departments will further pursue the idea of stadium naming rights for future sports facilities considering the amount of revenue those deals can generate.
One important thing to consider is why are corporate sponsors engaging in naming rights transactions in college athletics? As for sponsorships in general, corporations have been targeting the NCAA and college athletics as early as the late s. Listed below are several naming rights agreements between an academic institution and a corporate sponsor. All information was acquired by means of various public records requests, and will illustrate the parties, the basic terms of the naming rights deal, and key benefits for the corporate sponsor.
Even though a sports facility naming rights transaction provides many benefits for both the university and the corporate sponsor, there are potentially some negative factors that can impact college athletics including commercialism, sponsor negative perception, and negative fit. Intercollegiate athletics depend on corporate naming rights in part to help offset growing operating expenses. There has been some pushback from the industry favoring commercialization of college athletics. With professional sports facilities and teams receiving millions in annual revenue from facility naming rights, it is no wonder that facility naming rights entered college athletics with universities searching for additional revenue to acquire a competitive advantage both athletically and economically.
Over-commercialization can be a problem for the parties involved. Corporations should be mindful of how their sponsorship effectiveness can be impacted by commercialization opponents. Another factor to consider is the negative perception of the sponsor. For corporate sponsors, their brand is perceived more favorably by those who recognize their brand compared to those who do not recognize their brand. Finally, some believe that for a corporate sponsorship to be effective, there has to be a good fit between the team or stadium owner and the corporate sponsor.