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In the Name of Big-Time Publicity

January 01, 1998|Bloomberg News

The lucrative stadium naming-rights market is booming because taxpayers are balking at paying for new and refurbished arenas. Forty-one arenas and stadiums in the U.S. and Canada currently have naming-rights contracts. Bonham Group, a sports marketing firm in Denver, estimates that by 2000, there will be at least $2 billion in North American naming-rights contracts. One of the first was a 25-year, $1.5-million agreement signed in 1973 between Rich Products Corp., the closely held Buffalo-based maker of Coffee Rich nondairy creamer, and Erie County, New York, for the stadium where the Buffalo Bills play. In 1985, Atlantic Richfield Co. signed a 10-year, $7-million naming-rights agreement with the National Basketball Assn.'s Sacramento Kings to name the Arco Arena. The $100-million deal that allows Staples to put its name on the future home of the National Hockey League's Los Angeles Kings and the NBA Lakers sets a record.

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