I’ve become a fan of Tom Mayenknecht of The Sport Market. I catch his morning show on Team 1040 Radio almost every Sunday, and enjoy the business and marketing angle he brings to major league sports. Today, he talked about Toronto-based Sun Life Financial who, in a deal announced January 19th, acquired the 10-year naming rights for the Miami Dolphins’ football stadium for $40 million. The timing of the name change to Sun Life Stadium could not have been any better. Introduced last week as the stadium played host to the NFL Pro Bowl, it enjoyed a coming out party to the largest Pro Bowl audience in 10 years, with over 12 million U.S. television viewers tuned in on ESPN. Today, that audience number will jump to over 100 million U.S. viewers and over 160 million global viewers. On his blog, Tom goes on to describe the value and impact the Sun Life brand will enjoy from this well-timed launch:
“Depending on the number of times Sun Life is mentioned and its new stadium graphics shown during the Super Bowl telecast, the case can be made that the Toronto-based insurance company will receive media value that is at least equal to the first five years of its naming rights deal. That does not include valuation of the billions of media impressions that Sun Life Stadium will receive this week in print and on the internet, along with radio… The Super Bowl timing is only one example of how this deal is a winner for Sun Life. The low cost of the sponsorship is the headliner here. Sun Life paid about one-fifth the $20 million US per year that Citi Financial has invested in Citi Field ($400 million US over 20 years) for the new home of the New York Mets of Major League Baseball. It paid well less than the going rate for NFL stadiums, including the $7 million US per year that Bank of America did for the home of the Carolina Panthers.”
In an economic climate where purchasing naming rights to sports stadiums is a luxury for most corporate giants, this seems like a brilliant move for Sun Life Financial who should enjoy an almost immediate return on their investment, while paying far less for naming right than other corporations in the past.
Rajan is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BIG Marketing for Small Business. He's an award-winning marketing strategist who is passionate about branding, digital marketing and social media. He spent nearly a decade as the marketing executive at global IT firm Peer 1 Hosting and was instrumental in their explosive growth.