SBJ/May 28-June 3, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Sun Life Financial goes deeper with Celtics, lands club naming rights

The Boston Celtics have signed a new Courtside Club naming-rights deal with Sun Life Financial as the company boosts its sponsorship with the franchise.

Beginning next season, the team’s 1,500-square-foot hospitality club on TD Garden’s event level will be known as the Sun Life Courtside Club as part of Sun Life Financial’s sponsorship renewal with the Celtics. The club is reserved for floor seat holders, team owners and other VIPs.

Sun Life Financial has been a Celtics sponsor since the 2010-11 season, but next year will take over the club naming rights from the Lincoln auto brand.

Financial terms of the multiyear deal were not disclosed. The deal also includes Sun Life Financial marks on all of the team’s 128 front-row floor seats, courtside and other in-arena signs, branded in-game promotions, and advertising on Celtics.com.

“The newest asset is the presenting rights of the Courtside Club, and [Sun Life] wanted a mix of consumer branding and business-to-business awareness,” said Celtics President Rich Gotham. “The [Courtside Club] deal allows us to activate a little more, and it is a great place for them to do their own entertaining and build relationships with the people they bring through the door.”

The Celtics have about 70 integrated team sponsorships, or deals that include more than media buys. The total number of team sponsorships stands at 125.

The Celtics deal is the only NBA team deal for Sun Life Financial.

“A major focus is on selling our products to small businesses, and this allows us to meet many different people who are courtside ticket holders and network with them,” said Sally Bray, director of brand advertising and sponsorships for Sun Life Financial.

“Part of the package is four courtside seats for every game that we can offer our clients. It is great for building relationships.”

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