Sports journalists always seem eager to call a stadium or an arena by a corporate name, and the purchaser of the stadium or arena naming rights wants the sports media to use that name. Fifteen years ago, the battle between the corporate rights holder of the football stadium in Denver and a Denver newspaper got out of hand as the financial service was annoyed with the Denver Post’s ignoring the corporate name of the stadium. There is no reason media, unless the media is a TV or radio rights holder, should identify a corporate sponsor in reports. But be that as it may, the bankrupt Sports Authority that is going out of business would like to get out of paying sports sponsorship.
Sports Authority lawyers have asked a bankruptcy judge to end marketing agreements with the Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Galaxy, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants.
Sports Authority is scheduled to pay $3.6 million on August 1 to continue being the naming rights holder of the Denver Broncos stadium under a separate agreement with the team. The Broncos ownership wants to end the Sports Authority deal because the company did not make recent quarterly payments which are part of the Sports Authority-Denver Broncos agreement. Every three months Sports Authority was obligated to pay the Broncos ownership a fee. The company missed payments in February and May.
Broncos ownership is concerned that Sports Authority could sell the naming rights to another company. Broncos ownership might be able to get a better deal if the naming rights became a free agent and a bidding war could start. Sports Authority is scheduled to auction off whatever assets that remain on Thursday, June 23, and that includes the naming rights. There is never any need by reporters to give a sports partner a free plug in covering an event.
By Evan Weiner for The Politics of Sports Business.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.