Naming Rights Report

17 Aug

Foxwoods Theatre, New York

Date Announced: Aug. 9

Buyer: Foxwoods Resort Casino/Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation

Terms: Multi-year, financial terms not released

Brokered: In house by Live Nation

Ownership/Management/Tenant:
New York City/Live Nation/Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

Comments: Foxwoods Resort, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe casino in Ledyard, Conn., has purchased naming rights for the former Hilton Theatre in New York’s Times Square, home of the soon-to-open Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, a musical featuring the music of Bono and The Edge from U2.

Neither side is releasing terms or financial information.

“There is a good symmetry with our customer base,” said Micah Hollingworth, general manager for the theatre. “Should [Spider-Man] be successful, it is going to be an evening out-escape-luxury destination in the Northeast, and there is a lot of cross pollination in our consumer bases.”

The sponsorship also provides Foxwoods with access to the venue for corporate and philanthropic events, and tickets to performances at the theater.  The Foxwoods name will be included on all tickets and collateral for Spider-Man’s advertising campaign.

“Showcasing the Foxwoods brand in such a prominent location in New York City provides us with a signature opportunity to further extend our reach into the most coveted media market in the world,” said Robert Victoria, chief marketing officer for Foxwoods and MGM Grand at Foxwoods, in a statement.

Spider-Man is said to be beyond the scale of anything Broadway has produced before. Hollingworth said the closest comparison was Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas. It is expected to appeal to a national and international audience, even before the far-reaching U2 fan base is factored in.

That will offer powerful opportunities for everyone involved, Hollingworth said.
Live Nation’s alliance team brokered the deal.

“The Hilton deal expired last year, and they have been aggressively in the marketplace,” he said.
The theater is currently undergoing a renovation to increase the seating capacity to 1,930. It was originally built in 1996 on the site of the Apollo and Lyric Theatres.

Contact: Micah Hollingworth, (212) 556-4750

PNC Club Level at Miller Park, Milwaukee

Date Announced: Aug. 5

Buyer: PNC Bank

Terms: Five years, financials not released.

Ownership/Tenant: Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball District, Milwaukee Brewers/Milwaukee Brewers

Brokered: Locally

Comments: The Brewers have expanded their relationship with PNC Bank, granting them naming rights for the club level at Miller Park. This is the first time the team has sold club level naming rights.

“PNC purchased National City Bank in December 2008 and the conversion of 25 branches began in June,” said Jeffrey Noe, spokesman for the bank. They are making a $50 million capital investment in southeastern Wisconsin.

The deal includes signage on the club level concourse and inside the seating bowl, along with club level carpet inlays, said Thomas Hecht, vice president of corporate marketing for the Brewers.

Signage will be in place by Aug. 20.

It does not include use of a luxury suite, ATMs in the venue, or providing financial services for the team or the venue.

“The agreement wasn’t for hospitality purposes,” Noe said. “It is primarily about moving the PNC brand into southern Wisconsin.”

“We had a relationship for a few years – it started with National City Bank – and expanded with PNC taking over,” Hecht said. “The partnership elements are significantly larger with PNC.”

The deal was brokered in-house. The bank already sponsors “Major League Moment,” a program that has children join Brewers players on the field for the National Anthem during Sunday afternoon home games.

“We are doing a PNC Bank Day on Aug. 27, with post-game fireworks,” Hecht said. “We haven’t done a fireworks show in seven or eight years, so this is a big deal.” — Liz Boardman

Contact: Thomas Hecht, (414) 902-4400; Jeffrey Noe, (412) 762-4550

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