SBD/September 21, 2010/Facilities

Arco Not Renewing Naming-Rights Deal For Sacramento Arena

Arco Has Held Naming Rights To The NBA Kings' Arena For The Past 25 Years

Arco is "winding down its time as an arena naming-rights partner in Sacramento," electing not to renew a relationship "that has seen its brand on the home court of the NBA Kings for the past 25 years," according to Terry Lefton in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Arco's rights expire in February, but sources indicated that a name change "before the end of the NBA season" is unlikely. The Maloof family, which owns the Kings and the arena, is in the "final stages of a review for an agency that would sell naming rights to the 22-year-old venue." Sources said that "finalists include IMG, Premier Partnerships and Gemini Sports Group." A decision is "expected imminently, although the Maloofs are hopeful of eliminating the need for a sales agency by convincing an incumbent building sponsor to upgrade." Lefton notes depending on the brand, an "interesting deal also could be devised by combining arena naming rights with other Maloof assets, which include The Palms hotel/casino in Las Vegas and the Maloof Money Cup skateboarding competition." Sources indicated that Arco, now owned by BP, pays around $750,000 annually for naming rights and around $1.2M total "with other media and building elements included" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/20 issue). BP spokesperson Scott Dean declined to say why Arco is ending the naming-rights partnership. He noted that the "decision was made several years ago" and is "not related to BP's financial woes from this year's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 9/21).

CREATING POSITIVE BUZZ: In Sacramento, Bill Bradley notes the Kings yesterday announced variable pricing for single-game tickets next season, "on the heels of smaller season-ticket packages," and it is "refreshing to see the Kings have adapted to the real world." For years, the team "marketed in a world where basketball tickets were the same price for every game, and season tickets were sold in 41-game blocks." Bradley: "It was hard to justify the Kings' old-school philosophy when they were rebuilding and the economy was tanking" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 9/21).

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