Naming Rights Report

18 Sep

UCCU Events Center, Orem, Utah

Date Announced: Sept. 2

Buyer: Utah Community Credit Union

Terms: 10 years, $2.5 million

Brokered: In-house

Ownership/Tenant: Utah Valley University/UVU’s Woverine Basketball

Comments: At a time when the Utah Valley University is struggling with a 25 percent enrollment increase and a 12 percent cut in state funding, the school has inked a naming rights deal with the Utah Community Credit Union for the former McKay Events Center. The 10-year, $2.5 million deal was announced Sept. 2.

“We are out of space on campus, and don’t have the revenue to hire professors, so things are getting tight,” said Van Hale, UVU’s vice president for institutional advancement. “We have had a partnership with them for the last three or four years. They have a branch on campus, and the student card — which serves as an ID, bus pass, employee key and debit card, if they choose — serves 8,000 employees and students.”

As part of the deal, the credit union’s name will be inside the arena, and on the LED billboard along busy Interstate I-15, which abuts the venue, and serves 150,000 cars a day.

“There are not many other components,” Hale said. “The [LED sign] location was very appealing to them.”

The venue was previously named for the Latter Day Saints Church leader David O. McKay. In 1995, his family donated $3 million for perpetual naming rights.

“His grandson, who was the major donor years ago, said ‘you need additional revenue, move his name to the education building, and you will be able to sell naming rights,’” Hale said. “We were thrilled.”

A life-sized bronze statue of McKay that stood outside the ticket office will also be moved into that building.

UCCU began as a credit union service for Brigham Young University students, and many of its current members attend Utah Valley. Hale said 85 percent of the school’s graduates remain in Utah after graduation.
“This was absolutely a brilliant move on their part,” Hale said. “Odds are, they will stay here and be loyal credit union members.”

Contact: Van Hale, (801) 863-8335

Treasure Island Field, Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul

Buyer: Treasure Island Resort & Casino

Terms: Three years, financials not released

Ownership/Operator/Tenant: City of St. Paul/Minnesota Sports & Entertainment/Minnesota Swarm, Minnesota Wild

Comments: In an effort to highlight the historic link between lacrosse and Native Americans, the Minnesota Swarm has inked a new naming rights deal for their lacrosse field at the Xcel Energy Center with Treasure Island Resort & Casino, the Welch, Minn.-based gaming company operated by the Prairie Island Indian Community.

“Lacrosse is a native sport – Native Americans created the sport and played the game to heal the sick and solve disputes within the tribe,” said Andy Arlotta, co-owner and vice president of the Minnesota Swarm.

About 23 percent of the National Lacrosse League’s players are Native Americans, Arlotta said, but in Minnesota, there are no Native Americans on league teams.

Contact: Andy Arlotta, (651) 602-6000

— Liz Boardman


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