SBD/Closing Bell

United Gets L.A. Coliseum Naming Rights In College-Record Deal

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United Airlines is buying the naming rights to L.A. Memorial Coliseum for more than $70M over 15 years, according to sources, making it the richest naming-rights deal among college football stadiums. At $4.7M per year, United’s deal will surpass the 10-year, $41M deal Alaska Airlines signed with the Univ. of Washington for Husky Stadium naming rights in '15. Fox Sports, through its partnership with USC, has been attempting to sell naming rights to one of the nation’s most recognizable venues since '15.

The revenue from a naming-rights deal is expected to help offset costs of the $270M renovation to the Coliseum, school officials have said. The renovation, which is in the early stages, is supposed to be completed in time for the '19 football season. How United’s brand name will be attached is not clear, but school and Fox officials in the past have said “Memorial Coliseum” would be retained in the name.

Sources indicated that the contract has not yet been signed, but an agreement is in place. While Fox takes the lead on the sale, USC and Fox have been working in tandem to identify corporate candidates for a naming-rights deal. One of the reasons United emerged is because the airline's CEO, Oscar Munoz, is a graduate of the USC business school. L.A. Int’l Airport is one of United’s U.S. hubs.
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