SBD/Issue 49/Facilities & Venues

Coca-Cola Gets Food Court Naming Rights As Part Of New SSE Deal

Coca-Cola Branding Prominent At BankAtlantic
Center's Newly Renamed Food Courts
Coca-Cola has signed a multi-year renewal of its marketing partnership of the NHL Panthers and BankAtlantic Center that will see the soft drink giant receive the naming rights to the arena’s six food courts. The Coca-Cola Food Courts, which are open for all events in the venue, will feature the company’s colors, as well as Coca-Cola signage. The company has been an official partner of Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, which runs both the hockey club and the arena, since the team's inception in '93, and during that time Coca-Cola primarily activated through traditional static and LED signs in the arena. But SSE President & COO Michael Yormark said the expiration of its previous deal with the soft drink company allowed SSE to market Coca-Cola in a more immersive way. “Over the last couple of years their presence in our building has been somewhat passive,” he said. “We decided that we wanted to do something a little bit different for Coke.” The deal includes signage throughout the arena, a "significant presence" at the Panthers’ practice facility and in-game promos and retail components. But Yormark praised the food courts in particular for their ability to give people “an opportunity to experience their brand,” as 90% of beverage and food sales take place in the food courts. “Most of their visibility, and most of their exposure, really comes from these food courts, these dominant food courts, which is obviously a very important point-of-sale for them." Benefits of the deal have indeed already been felt, as Yormark estimated Coca-Cola product sales have increased 10% this year.

PART OF SSE'S LARGER STRATEGY: The branding of the food courts is part of a larger advertising strategy by SSE in which several official partners have their own branded destination in the BankAtlantic Center. “What we’ve tried to do is put brands on destinations in the building, and in some cases create new destinations around those brands,” Yormark said. “Especially in today’s marketplace, as you can imagine, it’s not about throwing up a sign, putting an ad in the gameday program. It’s about activating the brand on-site and off-site and bringing that brand to life in a very relevant way.” The branding of the food courts, however, is particularly unique, as Yormark noted that it is the first time the food courts have been branded by a single company and marks the first-time Coca-Cola has branded an entire arena’s food courts. Yormark: “I believe it’s going to be a new best practice for them.”

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