BB&T, NHL Panthers Extend Naming Rights Deal, Will Re-Brand Arena Again
The NHL Panthers have "signed a long-term extension with BB&T for naming rights to their arena, a deal that could extend over 20 years," according to Don Muret of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Panthers President & COO Michael Yormark said that the initial term with North Carolina-based BB&T Bank "runs 10 years." The agreement also "includes two five-year options." The arena today "officially switches from BankAtlantic Center to BB&T Center." Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the team and arena, and BB&T officials "refused to disclose the value of the deal, but industry sources valued the agreement at $3.7 million a year." The extension "materialized over the past month after federal regulators approved BB&T's purchase of BankAtlantic at the end of July." Panthers officials said that BankAtlantic's deal, valued at $3.2M annually, "was torn up ... and the Panthers negotiated new terms with BB&T for the 19,250-seat facility." BB&T South Florida regional President Mike Oster said that the bank's sponsorship "reflects its strategy for developing greater brand awareness in the local market." The region of Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties has "about 6 million residents" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/10 issue). This marks the fourth name for the 14-year-old arena -- it opened in '98 as the National Car Rental Center and subsequently had naming-rights deals with Office Depot and BankAtlantic (THE DAILY).