SBD/September 26, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

NBA Kings' Sponsor Commits At All-Time High; Team Still Seeks Arena Naming-Rights Deal

NBA Kings officials said that the team today will "announce a partial lineup of corporate partners for 2012-13, including new sponsors Nokia Siemens and Wal-Mart, and a returning former sponsor, Verizon Wireless," according to Tony Bizjak of the SACRAMENTO BEE. For Nokia Siemens, the deal "is the first with a professional American sports team." The Kings said the list represents "more sponsorship commitments than at any point during the Kings' 27-year tenure in Northern California." However, there are "several sponsors" which have "left the team, including long-time supporter Carl's Jr., hospital giant Sutter Health, which had a one-year deal, and Jiffy Lube's area franchises." Another sponsor from last year, software maker Synergex International Corp., said that it "felt betrayed by [Kings Owners] the Maloofs' decision to walk away from the arena project." Kings officials yesterday "insisted Synergex remains a sponsor with a multiyear deal." But Synergex President & CEO Michele Wong said that her company "won't renew its sponsorship after the Maloofs rejected the arena deal last April." Wong: "We felt that they were not showing good faith." Meanwhile, the team "remains without an arena naming-rights partner," but has been "in talks with several potential replacements, including Sleep Train Mattress Centers." Sleep Train Founder & CEO Dale Carlsen this week said there are "no real updates" to report on the talks (SACRAMENTO BEE, 9/26).
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