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Volume 26 No. 113
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JPMorgan Chase's Naming-Rights Deal With Warriors Likely Most Lucrative In NBA

The Warriors 20-year naming-rights deal with JPMorgan Chase is the richest in the NBA for a company putting its name on an arena. Sources said the deal is valued at $15-20M annually. Those numbers stand greater than Barclays Center’s deal at $10M annually over 20 years. Chase in '10 also signed a 10-year deal valued at $300M for assets inside MSG that do not include naming rights to the arena itself. A source said that the Warriors in their pursuit of a naming-rights partner turned down at least one bid from an auto import brand for at least $12M a year over 15 years. The 18,000-seat arena, to be called Chase Center, is targeted to open for the '19-20 season, one year later than the initial plan as the team fights opposition from the Mission Bay Alliance. The deal puts Chase on the name of the first big league arena proposed for downtown S.F. and aligns the bank with one of the most recognizable sports brands in the defending NBA champions, led by Stephen Curry, one of the NBA’s most marketable players. “These deals don’t usually come together as quickly as this one did,” said Warriors President Rick Welts. “We had commonality in terms of goals and it allowed us to progress quickly, which was unique." CAA Sports Consulting represented Chase in negotiations, while CAA Sports Property Sales represented the Warriors. "It was uniquely efficient and there wasn’t any information that wasn’t properly relayed on any side,” said Frank Nakano, JPMorgan Chase Sports & Entertainment Group Managing Dir. Both parties would not comment on the bank’s plans for activation tied to an arena project that includes commercial development and a 35,000-square-foot public plaza. “We have three years to plan for it,” Nakano said (Muret & Lombardo, Staff Writers).

Barclays Center
American Airlines Center
Philips Arena
Golden 1 Center
(under construction)
NBA Kings
TD Garden
 (Source: SBD research)      

HIT PROPRETY: In S.F., J.K. Dineen in a front-page piece writes the fact that the Warriors are "financing the arena privately gave the team incentive to strike the agreement sooner." Guaranteed revenue from the naming rights "should give potential lenders confidence as the Warriors seek financing" for the $1B arena. Warriors President & COO Rick Welts: “To do this now was incredibly important to financing the project, an absolute cornerstone. It won’t be the last deal we announce, but it will be the biggest and most important deal we’ll announce. It sets the right tone for the other discussions.” Dineen notes the deal comes as the Mission Bay Alliance, a group of donors to UCSF, "pursues two lawsuits against the arena development." Chase CMO Kristin Lemkau called the Warriors the “hottest team and one of the hottest brands in sports.” She added, "Our strategy is to have big arena assets that can work for both sports and entertainment in key markets. If ever there were a city and a team we would aspire to, it would be San Francisco and the Warriors.” Chase CEO Jamie Dimon "was scheduled to attend" yesterday’s Mavericks-Warriors game at Oracle Arena. The selection of Chase "might be something of a surprise in Bay Area business circles -- in recent months there had been speculation the arena would be named after a San Francisco tech company like Salesforce or Uber or a legacy Bay Area name like Wells Fargo." But Chase "does have a corporate presence" in S.F. (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/28).

FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY: In S.F, Joe Garofoli in a front-page piece cites analysts as saying that for Chase, it is "hard to quantify the value of the marketing buy" for naming rights. But Lemkau said that the move "makes fiscal sense." She said, “Believe me, we ran the numbers rigorously on what the investment and returns would be, and on all the models we ran through, it will pay off for us" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/28).