Naming rights: big business, private deals

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Around the country, corporations have paid millions of dollars to put their name on a sports stadium. In Portland, the Rose Garden became the Moda Center in a 10-year deal worth a reported $40 million.

Just this week, the Portland Timbers home field changed its name from JELD-WEN Field to Providence Park. The deal with Providence Health is for 15 years, but the dollar amount of the sponsorship remains undisclosed.

Providence Oregon CEO Dave Underriner, Feb. 14, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Providence Oregon CEO Dave Underriner, Feb. 14, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

Dave Underriner, the CEO with Providence Oregon, told KOIN 6 News on Friday that putting the company name on a stadium “has some allure to it. It’s a chance to come to a place and be participatory with others in the community.”

He said the naming rights deal is a way to improve the overall health of the community by expanding Special Olympics and bringing community activities to the stadium.

“We know that over time, investment in health and wellness improves the overall cost of care and improves the outcomes for folks that receive health care,” Underriner said.

But the company won’t say how much the naming rights cost.

When the announcement was made Monday, Timbers owner Merritt Paulson told KOIN 6 News he was keeping that information confidential, despite the fact the stadium is owned by the City of Portland.

But the Timbers are privately held and Providence Health is a non-profit.

“That’s the nature of those deals,” Paulson said at that time. “That’s always been the case.”

A report by Marquette University Law School showed Major League Soccer stadium naming deals range from the $7 million a year Home Depot was paying in Los Angeles for Chivas and the Galaxy, to the more average $2 million a year Dicks Sporting Goods is paying in Colorado for the Rapids. In Chicago, Toyota is paying $750,000 for the Fire.

Providence still won’t reveal their cost. But Underriner said, “It’s a very fair opportunity for us.”

But Camilo Marquez with Health Care for All Oregon didn’t like the Moda Center deal and he doesn’t like Providence Park deal.

“These funds are going to be used for what? For promotion of their plan. Not for medical care. Not for health care,” he told KOIN 6 News. He said the Providence Park deal “was deep disappointment.”

KOIN 6 News asked for but did not receive comment from Moda Health regarding this issue.

blog comments powered by Disqus