How It Works: Building Naming Rights


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Put My Name On That!

The places we go, the streets we drive on, and, of course, children, can be named after anything or anyone. When a building is built, a street paved, and child is born we name them so that they are just that much more special. Without a name, it would be a bit difficult to tell people and places apart (and yes, I do mean in their own respective categories). How they are named can also share similarity as to why they are named. By their name, is what they will be remembered by.

The big question, more so, is by which name will they be remembered by? People and places also share this in common as they can both have many names. In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses building naming rights partnerships.

_Building Naming Rights - Blog - 2022

What's In A Name?

MetLife Stadium, TCL Chinese Theatre, Heinz Field; all these places have been branded and there are many more like it. This is all possible through naming rights. 


Photo: Sergii Figurnyi |

Naming rights are a way for a corporation, person, or other entity to purchase the right to name a place, event, or item as a way to commemorate something or someone or advertise. Usually, naming rights are set for an established period of time and is common among multi-purpose venues. 

The history of intentional brand naming rights (which doesn't include the naming of Wrigley Field in 1926) in the US dates back to 1953.

Sportsmans Park 1953

Photo: Photofile Inc.

August Busch II approached the owners of Sportsman's Park, where the St. Louis Cardinals played, and wanted to rename it Budweiser Stadium. The league was against it but would allow him to to rename it under his last name.

With a middle ground having been found, the name rights of the stadium were solidified for it to be called Bush Stadium.

Busch Stadium

Photo: Mitch Bennett

Following this the finalization of this deal August cleverly created a new brand, Busch Bavarian Beer, and released it in 1955.

Busch Barvarian Beer

Photo: Busch Beer

Since then, several other places have been named after brands who were able to afford the naming rights. 

Goodbye Staples, Hello

Staples. Probably one of the stores you went to during back to school season or still go to if you have children or need some office supplies. 

Staples Store

Photo: Shutterstock

But with the rise of Amazon and the spread of online shopping, it was only a matter of time until the store would have to take a step back and release the naming rights to the beloved Staples Center. 

Staples Center

Photo: Tourism Media

Which leads to November of 2021. It was announced that the well-known STAPLES Center would be be renamed as Arena for the hefty price of $700 million and naming rights for 20 years. 

Staples Center Sign Removal

Photo: Associated Press, Xerro Ryan Covarrubias

The price paid for these naming rights is nearly six times the amount Staples originally paid in 1999 when the facility had its first debut.

It was not in vain, however, AEG will be using some of the new funds to renovate the establishment to be more up-to-date and competitive as an event-sports facility. Sports radio host Arash Markazi shared on Twitter that the additional finances will be going towards improved seats and concessions as well as changes to the entrance of the venue. 

On's side, they have received and will be receiving a huge amount of publicity as a result of this exchange and as the 2028 Olympics approach. will be a venue hosting some of the events during the 2028 Olympics which is sure to give it tons of coverage and mentions in the press and during the competition.  

Additionally, will have two giant signs on the property. One will naturally be at the front of the venue and the other will be on top which can be easily spotted by those flying nearby. arena top sign rendering

Photo: AEG

But that's not all! A few days after it was announced that the beloved Staples Center would now be called Arena,'s cryptocurrency token, CRO, rose about 70% in value.

CRO Token


With partnerships already in place with various sports organizations such as the Philadelphia 76ers and Formula 1 and celebrities like Matt Damon and Rhonda Rousey, is a leading example of a brand going all-in and succeeding.

By investing in naming rights with AEG, they also opened the door for their partnership with the Lakers and LA Kings. 

This mix of brand partnerships, celebrity endorsements, advertising, and sponsorships has made a brand that's hard to forget and one that will surely go down in history. 

Intuit Dome and the LA Clippers

Speaking of Staples Center, now formally renamed Arena, it has been home to the LA Clippers ever since November 1999.

This past year, however, it has been announced that the LA Clippers will be taking a new home, Intuit Dome to be exact. 

NBA Clippers Intuit Dome

Photo: Getty Images

The naming rights opportunity was presented to Intuit and has resulted in their 23-year deal with the LA Clippers for a whopping $500 million.  

Photo: LA Clippers

But in naming rights deals there is much more than just the exchange of finances. Usually when partnerships of this caliber occur there are other expectations laid out. 

From this alliance between Intuit and the Clippers, they have announced that they will "create new programs to reinvigorate the local economy and local businesses that create jobs, enable job readiness, and educate entrepreneurs to help them better run their businesses and transform their financial lives." 

LA Clippers, Steve Ballmer, CEO Sasan

 Photo: Andrew D. Berstein/NBAE

In the same NBA press release, they provided more insight into what Intuit has committed to doing as part of their partnership.

"As a function of the partnership, Intuit has committed to:

  • Expand Intuit’s Prosperity Hub School District program, which empowers the next generation of students to learn about finances and entrepreneurship, in the LA area. Intuit will commit an additional $1 million over the next three years to underserved school districts that are part of the program to make a long-term impact on the local economy. This follows Intuit’s recent donation to the Los Angeles Unified School District in July 2021.
  • Provide taxpayer assistance events to prepare and file taxes for low-income families in the area free of charge during tax season.
  • Host educational events where local entrepreneurs and small business owners including women or minority-owned businesses can leverage workshops, networking, tools, education, and tips on how to start, build, and grow a small business."

Intuit x Clippers

Photo: Sports Mint Media

As time passes, relationships ebb and flow, and new venues are built the opportunity for brands to participate in financially supporting the construction of an upcoming location presents itself.

The partnership doesn't just become a success out of a sheer desire for a brand to have its name on a building. It's also important for the brand and venue owner and/or occupants to have common goals and values in mind to make the best of it.

Intuit Values

Photo: Intuit

Home Over Away Graphic

Photo: Andy Lam

Both Intuit and the Clippers have aligned goals to support in the education of low-income communities and provide resources necessary to assist in those communities' residents being able to take control in their finances. This will result in an extremely successful relationship between the two. 

Microsoft Theater

Venues associated with sports aren't the only ones that are open to naming rights sponsorships. Another property, that also happens to be owned by AEG, is the Microsoft Theater.

Microsoft Theater

Photo: L.A. Live

Formerly Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Microsoft took an alternate route that led to their acquisition of the location's naming rights. 

Nokia Theater

Photo: Leavy Restaurants

September 2013 Microsoft purchased Nokia Mobile for a nice $7.2 billion. Instead of letting the naming rights go Microsoft took over the deal which was originally made by Nokia when the venue opened in October 2007.  

Screen Shot 2022-01-18 at 6.27.23 PM

Photo: GSM Arena

When Nokia's initial deal ended in July 2018, it seems that Microsoft has decided to renew it as the name remains there today. Whether the naming rights have actually been renewed, for how much, and for how long has not been released. 

According to attorney Christian Maximilian Voigt, a naming rights deal can range from $4 million to over $200 million. The length of the agreement (and naming rights) lasting between five to thirty-one years. Broken down by year, the average price is about $2 million annually. 

AMAs Microsoft Theater

Photo: Microsoft Theater

Having put a price tag on this ability, companies should examine their capabilities to make the environment stand out from others so it is on the radar of music artists and event planners. 

Emmys Microsoft Theater

Photo: Business Wire

By having notable events, such as the Emmy's, and/or various events at a location with a brand's name, the brand as a title sponsor increases its chances of being remembered as an unforgettable brand with positive associations. 

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The Power in Brand Partnerships

 There are many elements involved in brand partnerships at venues whether it be a regular brand sponsorship to a title or founding sponsor.

There's the planning of the partnership and activations that are desired from it, but once approved there's the legal, physical, and financial follow through that's required. The physical product on site and the interactions people have with it impact how people perceive your brand and can also influence whether the deal continues once the initial contract is up. 

Square x Sofi

Photo: Square

That said, it's no secret that investing in naming rights is no small feat. Furthermore, it's crucial that brands take into account how they plan to evolve during their partnership with a venue as it can make the location and brand extremely influential. 

Bucket List-1

Photo: Gift Republic

Whether it be the latest technology or trendiest event, once brands and venues earn the reputation of being the "cool place to be" and the "latest and greatest brand", they'll have to work to keep it. The best part is that we get to sit back and see just how. 

Partnerships, Sponsorships, and Activations, We've Got Your Back

Enjoyed learning about these large scale partnerships, sponsorships, and activations but not quite ready to do something of this scale? No worries! Regardless of if you're looking for a specific way to increase awareness of your brand and engagement at events or just learn more about how your brand can take action at events, we've written about it.

Check out these blogs that share some insight into how you can get your brand noticed without having to sign for an extensive multi-year partnership and/or sponsorship.

Want to keep learning more beyond our blogs? Tune into our podcast Marketing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them) hosted by our CEO Stacy Jones.

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