Rendering of signage at the newly-named Landers Center, Southaven, Miss.
Date Announced: Jan. 4, 2012
Sponsor: Landers Auto Group
Owner/Tenant: DeSoto County Convention & Visitors Bureau/Southern Professional Hockey League Mississippi RiverKings
Terms: 10 years. Landers Auto Group will pay $100,000 a year for the first five years; $115,000 in year six; and an additional $10,000 per year in building to $155,000 in year 10. Landers Auto Group pays the cost of changing all signage. In return, the company receives its name on all signage, including the side of the venue, six parking lot events (they produce Car Wars selling meets); and a suite plus 25 tickets to all venue events.
Comments: Todd Mastry, executive director of Landers Center, brokered the deal in-house with his marketing staff. It was actually an upsell.
Landers Auto Group was well into its second year of a three-year deal to sponsor the parking lot. Landers paid $35,000 over three years and the cost of putting location signage on every light pole and on four entrances to the venue, which cost an additional $17,000, Mastry said. The poles were named and numbered after the makes of cars Landers sells, such as Chrysler 43, for instance. They branded Nissan, Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler along with Landers Auto Group, which was on every entrance.
The original sponsorship evolved when the fire marshal came to the venue and insisted the parking lot light poles be numbered so they could locate crisis calls quickly, Mastry said. He sought a sponsor to cover the cost of that upgrade.
This time, “they approached us,” Mastry said. “They didn’t want to miss out. They were very happy with the parking lot sponsorship and brought folks by to see the entrances all the time.”
The venue will use the monies for operating expenses. Mastry just unveiled a $1.8-million Daktronics video upgrade, which this will help pay for. The naming rights income does not go to pay the remaining debt service of $39 million. The 10,000-seat arena opened in September 2000.
The upgrade has been fairly seamless except for one hiccup. Mastry and staff discovered they cannot change their Facebook name from desotociviccenter.com to landerscenter.com. The social network giant has rules against business name changes for those who have a significant number of friends, he said. They are still trying to find a solution but, meanwhile, they are maintaining two Facebook pages and advising friends to move to the new one.
Some show promoters were caught in the transition in terms of advertising. Monster Truck, which just completed its run, and Eric Church, Jan. 21, were advertised as playing the DeSoto Civic Center. Jeff Dunham, Jan. 27, is playing Landers Center. In February, the transition will be complete. Most contracts signify the DeSoto County Convention & Visitors Bureau doing business as DeSoto Civic Center or, now, Landers Center, so those do not have to be rewritten, Mastry said.
Contact: Todd Mastry, (662) 470-2102
Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Date Announced: Dec. 22, 2011
Sponsor: Bankers Life and Casualty Co., a subsidiary of CNO
Owner/Tenant: Pacers Sports & Entertainment/Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association
Terms: Continuation of the original naming rights deal for Conseco Fieldhouse, which published reports valued at $40 million over 20 years, ending in 2019. CNO paid the additional cost of changing the name.
Comments: Conseco Fieldhouse, home of the National Basketball Association Indiana Pacers and the WNBA Indiana Fever, was renamed Bankers Life Fieldhouse in a rework of the original naming rights deal. CNO Financial Group, formerly Conseco, is the holding company, based in Carmel, Ind., with several insurance subsidiaries, which also include Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company and Washington National Insurance Company.
Rick Fuson, COO of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, said this has been in discussion ever since Conseco became CNO Financial Group more than four years ago. For its first 12 seasons, the arena was known as Conseco Fieldhouse, but there is no longer a company known as Conseco.
The transition has been seamless and fans have adopted the new name without complaint, Fuson said. “We haven’t slipped a bit. We have a long history of good names in Indianapolis.”
CNO first determined Bankers Life was the one they wanted to brand and then worked on the transition for eight months. “Signage changed the day of the press conference,” Fuson said. The cost of rebranding the side of the building, business cards, uniforms, street signs, the web site, cups and napkins is being borne by CNO, he said.
Contact: Rick Fuson, (317) 917-2500