SBD/July 29, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Putnam Investments Replacing Rival Fidelity As Gillette Stadium Sponsor

Boston mutual fund company Putnam Investments is "replacing cross-town rival Fidelity Investments as a key sponsor of Gillette Stadium," according to Todd Wallack of the BOSTON GLOBE. Putnam’s name "will replace Fidelity’s on two three-story luxury clubhouses, each with 3,000 seats." Putnam will also "supplant Fidelity’s name on a parking lot, entrance, and private road for clubhouse ticket holders leading to the Foxborough stadium." The road, currently labeled Fidelity Way, "will be renamed Putnam Parkway." Putnam "didn’t disclose financial details for the partnership with the Patriots." However, as part of the multiyear deal, the Patriots are "renovating and expanding the clubhouses, upgrading the video technology, and opening up the layout with more glass to give spectators a better view of the field." The work is "expected to be finished by the time the regular season begins." Wallack notes the sponsorship is "another move by Putnam to raise its profile, rebuild a brand tarnished several years ago by a market timing scandal, and become a stronger competitor to industry leaders." Since Putnam CEO Robert Reynolds took over in '08, the company "has also struck deals with other sports teams and athletes, including the US Ski Team and professional golfer Keegan Bradley." Fidelity spokesperson Anne Crowley said that Fidelity "doesn’t typically sign naming-rights deals with sports arenas and decided to let the 10-year clubhouse deal expire." But the company "will retain its luxury box at Gillette Stadium" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/29). Reynolds, who was a "finalist for NFL commissioner in 2006," said of the deal with the Patriots, "The game-day branding is enormous. What the Patriots stand for and what the Kraft family has built over the years -- their performance and execution and teamwork -- to be able to co-brand with them is very exciting for us" (BOSTON HERALD, 7/29).
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