United States: St. Louis Rams' Relocation To Los Angeles Sets Stage For Colossal Stadium Naming Rights Agreement

On Tuesday, January 12, the NFL owners voted 30–2 to formally approve the relocation of the St. Louis Rams to Los Angeles, which concluded a hostile, multiple-year-long review process that ultimately deprives the city of St. Louis of its beleaguered NFL franchise that has called that city home since 1995. Also in Tuesday's vote, NFL owners approved the possible relocation of the San Diego Chargers to Los Angeles to share a new stadium with the Rams.  Chargers owner Dean Spanos has one year to decide whether to move the team or stay in San Diego and attempt to construct a new stadium there, where efforts have, thus far, been wholly unsuccessful.

As part of the approved relocation, Rams owner Stan Kroenke plans to construct a $1.86 billion stadium project in Inglewood on the site of the former Hollywood Park Racetrack, which he and the Stockbridge Capital group purchased in 2014. As it stands, the multipurpose stadium will be the centerpiece of a larger, multidimensional real estate development with retail shops, theaters, and restaurants.  Additionally, given Inglewood's temperate climate and close proximity to downtown Los Angeles, the stadium is expected to gain consideration to be the future site of Super Bowls, Pro Bowls, and the NFL Scouting Combine, as well as the venue for large outdoor concerts, non-football sporting events, and private functions.

Despite the obvious economic boon to the NFL and the Rams franchise, the team's relocation to Los Angeles and the development of a new stadium in Inglewood presents an intriguing opportunity for a company or brand to purchase naming and advertising rights to the facility.

In 2011, insurance giant MetLife acquired the naming rights to the football stadium in the New Meadowlands complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey—the home of two NFL franchises: the New York Jets and the New York Giants. For years, MetLife had believed that nothing produced a better return on investment than its signature Snoopy Blimp, which functioned as a "flexible, roving stadium" according to Beth Hirschhorn, MetLife's then-chief marketing officer.  However, the opportunity to purchase advertising real estate at the new stadium, a 25-year deal worth between $17 million and $20 million annually, proved too tempting to pass up.

When asked why MetLife finally decided to purchase the naming rights to a stadium, Hirschhorn gave three reasons: for the exposure that a stadium in the New York media market housing two NFL franchises receives; for the exposure that comes with hosting the 2014 Super Bowl; and for the "dynamism that football brings to the stodgy world of life insurance." Though MetLife has near ubiquitous brand awareness, Hirschhorn believed the stadium naming rights deal would help "raise [MetLife's] top of mindedness" among consumers.

MetLife's investment, at least early on, seems to be paying off. According to the Sports Business Journal, MetLife's  realized value from the naming rights totaled roughly $56.4 million over a two-year period, which represents a 176.3% return on MetLife's investment.

Roughly two years later, in May of 2013, Levi Strauss & Co. announced that it had secured the naming rights to the San Francisco 49ers new stadium in Santa Clara, California in an innovative deal, valued at $220 million over 20 years, that pushes the bounds of typical naming rights agreements and includes much more than just the company's name on the side of the stadium.

After two years of football in Levi's Stadium, it has become clear that, in securing a naming rights agreement with the 49ers, Levi Strauss set out to establish more of a business partnership with the team, rather than just acquire the rights to put the name of the iconic denim apparel brand atop the stadium. First, Levi's worked with the 49ers to develop a strategy to outfit nearly everyone visibly connected to the team within the stadium in Levi's brand apparel–from the team itself, to the cheerleaders, the mascot, and the roughly 10,000 day-of-game staff. Levi's global product line manager Devon Thompkins explained that the company "saw outfitting th[ose] individuals as an opportunity. Since we work in products and [] fashion, the look and feel of the stadium were very important to us. We came to the 49ers with the idea of outfitting Sourdough Sam [the mascot] and high-visibility people in the stadium to make it look like the best-dressed stadium and stand for Levi's."

Levi's not only sought to leverage its relationship with the 49ers to sell existing merchandise, but also to develop and market new products as well. In 2014, Levi's announced the launch of its signature "Levi's x 49ers" collection of apparel, which offers men's and women's trucker jackets, a revamped version of the iconic gold satin jackets worn by 49ers fans dating back to the 1970s, and other 49ers branded Levi's apparel, some of which can only be purchased in the team store within the stadium. Furthermore, Levis launched its "541" collection of denim jeans, which provides a more athletic fit for men's thighs and glutes. In the first month on the market, sales of the 541 jeans were "above average" and even garnered the public support of two star 49ers players, Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin.

Levi's president James Curleigh has explained that the drivers to entering into the naming rights agreement were more extensive than mere media exposure. Recognizing that a stadium can function as a "center of culture[]," Curleigh noted that "sports brands have done a great job of espousing the lifestyle of sports further into the closets and day-to-day cultural experiences of individuals . . . [even more] so than the traditional lifestyle brands."  In the attempt to become a "fan-based brand" rather than a "sports brand," Levi's recognized that, on game days, 70,000 people will fill the stadium and 80% of them will be wearing blue jeans.  "What better way to connect with [those fans] than through a stadium name," Curleigh said.  And because the market for denim jeans has become flush with competition, Levi's wanted to make "[its] consumers more excited, competitors more nervous and consumer base more confident."

Though it is too early to tell whether Levi's investment in the stadium will completely pay off, early signs suggest Levi's has already begun to see value trickle in. Between the time Levi's signed the agreement in 2013 and the kickoff of the first 49ers game at the stadium in 2014, Levi's public relations department estimated that the stadium garnered over 40 billion media impressions.  And in addition to the success of the Levi's x 49ers collection, which was a by-product of the naming rights agreement, the NFL has expressed in modeling Levi's relationship with the 49ers and expanding it to other teams throughout the league.  The NFL also announced that Levi's Stadium will be the host of Super Bowl L in 2016, an incredibly lucrative opportunity for Levi's to garner media attention on an international stage.

Despite the fact that the Rams had not received official approval to relocate to Los Angeles until very recently, Stan Kronke has already released detailed plans for the proposed Inglewood stadium. It's not entirely clear when and how the Rams will market the naming rights to the stadium, but if the past is any indication, and given the clear benefit to being associated with a stadium home to two NFL teams in the greater Los Angeles area, the deal will likely far surpass the value of any of its predecessors and will undoubtedly continue to stretch the creative bounds of what a relationship between a brand and an NFL team can be.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Events from this Firm
24 Oct 2017, Seminar, Los Angeles, United States

Presented by The American Bar Association White Collar Crime Committee.

24 Oct 2017, Conference, Los Angeles, United States

Corporate transactions are not just in the domain of M&A corporate attorneys. This program will cover the important role of employment and benefits counsel in shaping mergers and acquisitions. The presenters will provide practical guidance on conducting due diligence of labor, employment, employee benefits and executive compensation arrangements of target companies.

25 Oct 2017, Business Breakfast, New York, United States

Please join us for a complimentary breakfast program and networking with private equity investment banking professionals to discuss private equity activity and prospective deal flow opportunities in the technology industry.

 
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.