SBD/Issue 9/Facilities & Venues

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  • Gillette Extends Naming Rights To Patriots' Stadium Through '31

    Gillette's Extended Naming-Rights Deal Adds 15
    Years Onto Current Pact Agreed To In '02

    Procter & Gamble's Gillette brand and The Kraft Group yesterday announced an extension of their strategic partnership that includes Gillette Stadium naming rights through the '31 NFL season. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed (P&G). The current deal is for 15 years, and this extension "adds 15 years to that" (, 9/22). Kraft Group President Jonathan Kraft said that he "wanted to lock in Gillette as a long-term partner because of the strength of their relationship." Kraft: "Gillette has been the leader in their field. They are a global brand leader that stands for global excellence. We try to reach those levels each year." Patriots Exec Dir of Media Relations Stacey James noted that the deal was "not put out to bid." Harvard Business School professor Stephen Greyser said that extending the Gillette agreement "makes sense, given that the groups share a 'co-branding point of view' because of their Boston ties and a strong mutual following among mostly male audiences." Greyser also noted that Kraft Group has "strong positive name recognition in New England, which benefits Gillette with potential customers" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/23). In Boston, Ian Rapoport wrote, "The best-case scenario for stadium naming rights is when the sponsor’s name is so ingrained in public consciousness that you don’t even think about it being a sponsor. That’s the case with Gillette Stadium" (, 9/22).

    KINGS FOR A DAY: Arco has chosen not to renew its deal for the naming rights to the NBA Kings arena after 25 years, and Bloomberg TV’s Michele Steele wondered if the team will "be able to attract a new naming rights sponsor." The building is an “aging arena,” and it is “no secret they don't really want to stay in the building.” However, the trend of “shorter term, lower-tier naming-rights deals being done this summer … is acting in their favor" (Bloomberg TV, 9/23).

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  • MLB Testing Food Orders On iPhone App At Citizens Bank Park

    iPhone App Likely To Have
    Broader Availability In '11

    MLBAM has added food ordering to its At Bat iPhone application, with the enhanced functionality currently being tested at Citizens Bank Park. Under development for much of this year, the food ordering capability through the iPhone is part of a broader effort by MLBAM to develop venue-related elements to the popular mobile application, one that also includes detailed wayfinding, ballpark amenity information and game-related social media content. The Phillies and Citizens Bank Park are serving as a trial run for a likely much broader effort during the '11 season. Availability this season is slated to extend through the entirety of the Phillies' likely postseason run. "This is still a testing period. But we are very optimistic and are trying to get a lot of learnings and see what needs to be done to support the other 29 clubs with this as well," said MLBAM VP/Wireless Adam Ritter. "This has come together through a really strong collaboration between us, (Phillies concessionaire) Aramark, and the club." The ballpark was chosen for several reasons, including a desire by Aramark to participate in the effort and geographic proximity to the Philadelphia HQs of Aramark and MLBAM's N.Y. HQs. Food available through At Bat does not include the entire run of menu options at the ballpark, but does feature many specialty items, including Tony Luke's cheesesteaks. The delivery-only service is available throughout every seating section of the park, with the exception of the Diamond Club and suites, as those luxury areas already provide attendant-driven food delivery. Access to the phone-driven food ordering is gated by the GPS function of the iPhone that is used to confirm users' location within the ballpark. Delivery time during initial testing averaged 12 minutes. AT&T last month boosted cell service within Citizens Bank Park with the installation of a series of new antennas.

    GROWING SEGMENT: The MLBAM/Phillies/Aramark entry into cell phone-driven concessions adds to other nascent ventures in the space that include FanGo and the Jaguars' ongoing work with Vancouver-based Mobio Identity Systems Inc. at EverBank Field. This latest effort, however, is considerably more ambitious in scale than many other tests that have been generally limited to specific seating sections. "Getting this available through people's individual devices is a great step forward," said Aramark Sports, Entertainment & Conventions President Marc Bruno. "This is an exciting new frontier, and one that eventually, we think, could have major implications in the overall ballpark experience." Aramark has hired several additional staffers to aid with the food delivery. Extending the food ordering to other mobile platforms is under consideration, Ritter said.

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  • Let It Snow: Indians Hope Winter Theme Park Ups Ballpark Revenue

    Indians Will Use 150 Tons Of Man-Made Snow
    Per Day To Help Create Winter Theme Park

    The Indians this offseason are turning Progressive Field into a winter theme park with an aim toward boosting ballpark revenue on days when it is normally closed. Indians Snow Days will begin Nov. 26, the day after Thanksgiving, and extend until Jan. 2. The club will build a snow tubing hill, ice skating track, a kids' snow mountain and ice rink, and walking trail. The team will use 150 tons of man-made snow per day to supplement what occurs naturally, resulting in more than 5,000 tons over the run of the event. "This first-of-its-kind event will give downtown Cleveland another marquee attraction this winter," said Indians VP/PR Bob DiBiasio. Baseball theming will remain prevalent in the Indians Snow Days, with examples including the name "Batterhorn" for the snow tubing hill and the adult lanes on the hill extending 60 feet, six inches off the ground. The Batterhorn will be presented by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. Pricing ranges from $5 for the activities not including the ice skating and snow tubing to $25 for an all-inclusive pass with skate rental and $100 family pass that includes all activities and a food and beverage credit.

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