SBJ/May 13-19, 2013/Facilities

Barclays Center signs hospitality, sponsor deal with Southern Cal football to target entertainment industry

Editor's note: This story is revised from the print edition.

Get ready for another Brooklyn-to-Los Angeles connection, but without the emotional scars over a team bolting for the West Coast.

Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets, has signed a three-year deal with USC Sports Properties for hospitality and advertising during Southern Cal football games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

The agreement, valued in the low to mid-six figures annually, gives Barclays Center officials the opportunity to entertain at two games a season in one of four temporary suites set up in the stadium’s east end zone.

A rendering shows the new suite plan for the end zone at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Image by: CLASSIC TENTS
Driving the deal for Barclays Center, which is partially owned by the Nets, is the ability for arena officials to entertain decision-makers on the West Coast involved in booking concert tours and other special events, said Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark. That might include agents, promoters and artist managers.

Barclays Center will get 35 suite tickets a game, pregame sideline access for its guests and a presence at the midfield coin toss for those two games, said Dan Shell, vice president and general manager of USC Sports Properties, the Pac-12 school’s multimedia rights holder.

The games have not been determined but could include one midseason game plus games against Stanford or UCLA, the two best home dates in 2013, Shell said.

The deal also covers advertisements in Southern Cal game programs and brand exposure on the stadium’s video board. The activation elements tied to that portion of the agreement are still in development, Yormark said.

Barclays Center, which the Nets manage in tandem with AEG Facilities, a Los Angeles firm, is on track to book about 230 public and private events in its first year of operation, and Yormark wants to build on those numbers with more shows as the facility enters its second year in September.

The deal originated over a breakfast meeting earlier this year in Los Angeles during which Yormark, Shell and Steve Lopes, Southern Cal senior associate athletic director, met to discuss how to continue building the portfolio of nonconference college basketball games at Barclays Center.

The conversation turned to developing stronger relationships with the entertainment industry in general. As the concept evolved, Barclays Center’s research showed Southern Cal football is a big draw for the talent industry involved in booking arenas and stadiums.

“We’re treating Barclays Center as a national brand and one that we need to promote,” Yormark said. “New York and L.A. are the two content hubs. We’re going to L.A. to reinforce the message. This platform helps communicate our brand and also lets us thank our partners out there.”

For USC Sports Properties — which is owned by Fox Sports and manages marketing and media rights for USC sports — the deal generates revenue and brings more exposure to the temporary suites it sells for Southern Cal football as an all-inclusive premium ticket package, Shell said.

Last year was the first season that the group marketed the temporary double-decker suites, which are similar to the corporate chalets at golf tournaments. USC Sports Properties will replace the six units it used last season with four new, larger suites that individually can accommodate up to 70 people.
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