Saturday, January 22, 2011

Seattle Times: KeyArena's name to change; bank drops sponsorship

The value and timing of the renaming depends on the location of a new arena.
Seattle Center's arena could retain a tiny bit more name value if a new arena is built in Bellevue as opposed to some place in Seattle, but not much.

I am sure it will still have some value. The question is how diminished that value is with its novelty as the only indoor facility of its size in the Seattle media market removed?
Does it then get a local second tier name?
Does it get a local name that is an international company but valued at the second tier price?

The market is big enough that a new modern arena could make money without completely destroying the value of Seattle Center's arena, just expect it to be what it already is, second tier, when the novelty of being the only major arena goes away.

Seattle Center officials are shopping the naming rights to KeyArena, the city's high-profile entertainment venue, after KeyBank let its contract expire Dec. 31.

Bill Boucher, KeyBank's regional marketing director, said the bank valued the presence it got from the sponsorship but decided not to renew the contract.

"Like every company, we continuously review our portfolio of sponsorships and strive to improve their impact and return on investment," Boucher said in a statement.

Cleveland-based KeyCorp, the bank's parent company, paid the city $300,000 annually for the past three years even though it could have walked away after the Sonics left for Oklahoma City in 2008. Before the team's departure, KeyCorp had paid the city $1.3 million a year since 1995.

In a statement Friday, Seattle Center Director Robert Nellams said he was confident the city would find a new partner.
. . .
Boucher said the bank isn't shying away from Seattle. Over the past 18 months, KeyBank has established new sponsorships with the Seattle Mariners, Tacoma Rainiers and Broadway Across America at the Paramount Theatre, Boucher said.

Business & Technology | KeyArena's name to change; bank drops sponsorship | Seattle Times Newspaper

How did that work out?
As evidenced by the market, not so well.