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Naming Rights: Effective Branding and Super Bowl Location

Much of the talk with regard to naming rights deals revolved around the Meadowlands this past week, as branding experts voiced opinions as to whether the addition of a Super Bowl to the new Meadowlands Stadium will enhance a potential overall naming rights deal. Further, many were curious whether the announcement would entice other secondary sponsors to the just opened facility.

While it is still a long term process and the Super Bowl addition does help (and probably opens the door for even more top tier events in the future), just one additional event four years hence won’t bring in a multi-million dollar price tag. The work the Stadium is doing filling ancillary events…soccer, concerts, etc. will also have great brand value, and may even pull in a non-traditional or overseas brand into the mix. Keep this inin mind: Allianz was close to a deal at one point and UK-based Barclay’s is already in as the title sponsor for the upcoming arena in Brooklyn for the Nets.

So what is the value of a naming rights deal? Branding for one, obviously. Product integration and awarness is another one which can produce effective marketing results. A great example of an unconventional naming rights deal, albeit on a smaller scale, took place this past week in Illinois, where the Illinois Corn Growers Association took the naming rights for a 5,500 seat Frontier League baseball stadium in Normal. The group will use the stadium, the Frontier League team and its players in an integrated marketing campaign, and may tie in local retailers who use corn products like ethanol, to better assimilate with the community. Corn has taken somewhat of a beating in the consumer marketplace recently becuase of the preponderance of high fructose corn syrup in many products, and its potential ties to childhood obesity, and grabbing a naming rights deal and its PR spin in the heartland is a very interesting move. Now it is nowhere near the millions that can be spent on the Meadowlands, but it is an interesting tie for brand integration that could be tied to a larger scale, especially a multinational brand looking to expand and showcase itself in the States.

The New York area remains the ultimate melting pot, so could a large consumer goods company, a new financial services company, even a company tied to natural resources, see the new Stadium as a chance to build brand? Maybe. Whether the new-titled small stadium in the Midwest really helps raise awarness of all corn can do in a positive manner works is TBD. Regardless, it is an interesting and creative option in challenging times both for brands and for those doing the selling.


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