SBD/April 26, 2011/Facilities

Overstock.com Likely To Gain Entitlement To Oakland-Alameda Coliseum

Overstock hoping naming-rights deal will help with company's rebranding
The stadium that houses both the A’s and Raiders will become Overstock.com Coliseum later this week if a proposed naming-rights deal is approved tomorrow by the joint city/county commission that oversees the facility. The commission is scheduled to meet in special session tomorrow morning. A review and a vote on approval of the entitlement deal is on the board’s agenda, and the commission is expected to approve the deal, which sources said would be for six years and just under $2M per year. The deal included interior and exterior stadium signage. Any media or other inventory directly connected to the A’s or Raiders would have to come through separate deals with those teams. Overstock.com, currently No. 28 on Internet Retailer's list of the top 500 North American business-to-consumer sites, would thus become the only online retail brand with a North American entitlement deal. There are some retailers with naming-rights deals at sports venues, including Target Field in Minneapolis, Rexall Place in Edmonton and the Sears Centre Arena outside of Chicago. Premier Partnerships, Santa Monica, Calif., handled the deal for the Coliseum.

BRAND AWARENESS: The rationale behind what is a short-term deal by naming rights standards is almost entirely branding. Salt Lake City-based Overstock is changing its name to O.co. The O.co name aligns with the company’s international ambitions, is an easier name for mobile commerce, and fits with the company’s transition from a closeout/discount retailer to a general merchandiser. The company was founded in ‘97 as D2Discounts Direct and ironically much of its early business was from liquidating the inventories of failed dot-coms. Overstock.com had revenues of $1.1B and earnings of $15M for its most recently completed fiscal year. The Oakland stadium name will likely pick up the O.co name, but not immediately, sources said. With the Marlins moving to a new ballpark next year, the Oakland facility will be the last with MLB and NFL teams, making it close to a year-round marketing platform for O.co. What is officially the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum was called Network Associates Coliseum from ’98-‘04 and McAfee Coliseum from ’04-08 through a prior entitlement deal.
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