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What’s in a stadium name? Millions.

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There’s been a flurry of stadium naming rights deals in the past week. Nissan announced on Thursday its name will crown the Tennessee Titans’ football stadium. Last week, U.S. Bank said a new Minnesota Vikings stadium will bear its name.

Terms of the agreements were not disclosed. The U.S. Bank deal reportedly will cost $10 million a year over a 20-year term.

Corporations spend millions of dollars a year for stadium naming rights for NFL teams, even poor performers. The Tennessee Titans lost 10 games in a row last season.

“Forget about the team’s performance. It’s all about the exposure in the most popular sports league in America,” says Don Muret, a reporter with SportsBusiness Journal.

Muret says the naming rights’ pricetags can vary depending on the market. He says the 2011 naming rights deal for the MetLife stadium, home of the New York Giants and Jets, likely cost between $17 and $20 million for a 25-year agreement.

The prospect of a Super Bowl can also boost the price, according to E.J. Narcise, a principal at Team Services LLC, a marketing firm that specializes in sports. He notes that the Vikings stadium will host the Super Bowl in 2018, and that likely had a lot of appeal for U.S. Bank.

“Think of the exposure that a brand will get when in 2018, it’s live from U.S. Bank Stadium, and that’s going to be broadcast in 38 languages all around the world,” he says.

Narcise says if a stadium can also host big events like political conventions, the naming rights are even more valuable.


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