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Published March 8, 2010
At a time when many new sports facilities have struggled to find corporate sponsors, Todd Goldstein, the president of AEG Global Partnerships, was able late last year to secure the first arena naming-rights deal in China for the new Shanghai Arena, a joint venture among AEG, the NBA and the state-owned Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group.
The deal, with Mercedes-Benz, is said to be valued at between $80 million and $100 million over 10 years.
It’s not the first major naming-rights deal Goldstein has done. He sold Nokia the naming rights to multiple areas at L.A. Live, secured the naming-rights deal for O2 Arena in London, and closed many other deals with the nearly 100 sports and entertainment facilities AEG owns or manages worldwide.
Goldstein started at AEG as a sales executive in 2001 and was promoted up through the organization. In 2008, when AEG Global Partnerships was launched, he was named president of the new division. Goldstein reports directly to AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke.
Goldstein says Leiweke “taught me everything I know.”
Leiweke said of Goldstein: “To see him running a division that generates almost a quarter of a billion dollars a year, to see partners grow with us and all of our endeavors, is a real credit to Todd, his work ethic, enthusiasm for life and leadership abilities.”
Goldstein says the global economic recession has taught him “to listen better to the person across the table from me and see things through their eyes.”
“When you come close to consummating a deal,” he said, “you almost have to be on their side [of the table] because to get board approval for these long-term deals is not nearly as easy as it has been in the past.”