SBD/Issue 112/Facilities & Venues

Yankees, BofA Officially End Talks For Major Sponsorship Deal

Yankees, Bank Of America Still May Sign
A Smaller Sponsorship Deal
The Yankees and Bank of America (BofA) Thursday officially announced that they have "ended talks for a major sponsorship deal for the new Yankee Stadium," according to Anthony Rieber of NEWSDAY. The two sides in September reportedly were "close to a lucrative signature sponsorship deal," but the economy and BofA's stock have "taken a major swan dive."  BofA Senior VP/National Media Relations Joe Goode Thursday said, "This was a unique business partnership we were talking about. These unprecedented times often call for difficult decisions." Rieber notes it is "unclear how the loss of the potential Bank of America sponsorship will affect the Yankees' plans for advertising" at the new ballpark. Yankees COO Lonn Trost Wednesday said, "I can say the economy has not affected our sponsorship one iota" (NEWSDAY, 2/27). The AP's Ronald Blum reports Trost "expects to negotiate a lower-level deal with a bank that would include cash-machine rights" in the new Yankee Stadium, and Trost indicated that BofA "could become involved in those talks." Trost: "It just doesn't seem like this is the time to do something special with a financial institution. There are so many teams being criticized. In the face of that, to do a deal, we would face additional criticism" (AP, 2/26).

FAILURE TO LAUNCH: A Yankees exec said that the team and BofA "mutually agreed to part ways after seeing the heat that Citigroup was getting for putting its name on the new Mets stadium" (CNBC.com, 2/26). Meanwhile, Goode Thursday said that contrary to reports, the bank "never tried to negotiate for naming rights at the stadium." Goode said that BofA will "continue to offer Yankees-related products such as credit cards," though he admitted that it will be "harder to market them to consumers without the stadium agreement." Goode: "We still see value in the Yankees organization as both a business and marketing partner. It's our hope that we can find other ways to maintain our business relationship that goes back to the mid '90s" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 2/27). Goode said the two sides "concluded our negotiations on a long-term agreement in early January" (N.Y. POST, 2/27).

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