Jets, Giants could bag 'Super' stadium namer
By HOLLY SANDERS WARE
April 5, 2010
The Jets and Giants may get not just get the Super Bowl, but also a super sponsor.
The teams' bid to host the 2014 Super Bowl at their new $1.7 billion stadium should jumpstart their stalled search for a naming-rights sponsor for the venue, sports marketing experts said.
If the sales pitch is successful -- and many observers believe it will be -- the teams would suddenly have a nice carrot to dangle in front of corporate sponsors.
"There is no question that if they are awarded the duties, it enhances their chances of getting a naming-rights deal," said Kevin Adler, president of Engage Marketing, a sports business consulting firm.
The Miami Dolphins scored a naming-rights deal with Sun Life Financial in January, just in time for the Super Bowl. Sun Life paid $37.5 million for the five-year deal and got more than $27 million in TV and media exposure just during the Super Bowl, according to research firm Joyce Julius.
With the big game in the New York region for the first time, there would be an even greater return on investment, said Richard Yaffa, North American CEO of GroupM ESP, which specializes in sports and entertainment marketing partnerships. "The venue will be the focus of attention until 2014," he said.
With two storied sports franchises in the largest media market, New Meadowlands Stadium was supposed to fetch a record amount -- more than $30 million a year over 20 years -- for its naming-rights deal. Then the economy tanked.
The Jets and Giants have managed to sign four smaller "corner" sponsorship deals. The asking price for naming rights is said to have fallen below $20 million, yet is still said to be too high.
The economic situation isn't lost on team owners, who will decide next month which site gets the 2014 Super Bowl. Along with New York, Tampa and South Florida have also submitted bids. Some industry observers believe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is lobbying owners to give the bid to New York as a reward for building the expensive new stadium.
"You would be helping a stadium get built also knowing those two teams play in a tough economy," said a source close to the NFL. "These have been teams that have helped the league over the years and have shared revenue."
Sports marketing experts said it's hard to say whether the Sun Life deal with the Miami Dolphins is an anomaly or a sign of renewed demand for naming-rights deals. The Dallas Cowboys, who were awarded next year's Super Bowl, have also failed to lure a naming-rights sponsor for their new $1.2 billion stadium.
However, there are indications that the sports marketing sector is picking up again.
"The marketplace is opening up," said GroupM's Yaffa. "I think that deals are getting done, albeit with a greater sense of prudence."