SBD/May 10, 2011/Facilities

T'Wolves Shopping Target Center's Naming Rights With Deal Expiring In August

T'Wolves in talks with Target, other companies about arena naming rights
Target Center “could have a new name by the end of the summer,” according to John Vomhof Jr. of the MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL BUSINESS JOURNAL. Target’s naming rights agreement for the arena “expires at the end of August.” The Minneapolis-based retailer "remains in talks" with the T'Wolves about extending the deal, but the team is "shopping the name to other companies." The team is “seeking a 14-year deal to match the years remaining on its Target Center lease.” T’Wolves officials said that they are “in ongoing talks with multiple companies, including Target.” They “declined to name any of the other prospects, but said the list includes both local and national businesses.” T’Wolves Senior VP/Marketing & Communications and CMO Ted Johnson: “We felt we needed to broaden the discussion to include other companies, and Target understood that.” Life Time Fitness is “among the companies vying for the deal.” The Minnesota-based fitness chain, which “last fall acquired the naming rights for the Wolves’ in-arena practice facility, confirmed that it wants to expand that deal to include the broader arena naming rights.” Best Buy and U.S. Bancorp, two “large local players” and longtime team sponsors, “also would be likely suspects.” The T’Wolves are “handling most of the talks in-house, but they also hired an undisclosed naming-rights consultant to help identify national companies that might be interested.” Vomhof notes one “key question is whether Target might be more or less likely to renew its Target Center deal now that it also holds the naming rights to the neighboring Target Field and Target Plaza” (MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL BUSINESS JOURNAL 5/6 issue).
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