A rendering of what the signage on the Ford Amphitheater will look like.

The City of Nampa, Idaho, has finalized a five-year, $1-million naming rights deal with Ford Motor Company and Treasure Valley Ford Dealerships. The partnership between the national Ford Motor Company and seven local Ford dealers will put the Ford name on the Ford Idaho Center as a complex, and also its three facilities: Ford Arena, Ford Amphitheater and Ford Idaho Horse Park.

In total, the SMG-managed facilities host about 250 event days each year — a number that newly-elected Nampa Mayor Bob Henry hopes to grow as a result of this deal.

“Now that Ford is placing its name on the Idaho Center, it should be easier to attract other sponsors and, in turn, events,” said Henry. “It sends a strong message to others out there that the Idaho Center is alive and well, and a good place to bring events.”

Facility GM Craig Baltzer said the $1 million which will be paid over the five-year period, will likely be used for capital improvements; however, it’s not the most important aspect of the deal.

“Certainly the price tag that came with the deal is good — the money is great and we’re more than happy to have it — but it’s more for us the branding, the name and the local appeal,” said Baltzer.

The seven local Ford dealers involved in the naming rights reach from Mountain Home, Idaho to Ontario, Ore., which spans the area that Ford Idaho Center markets to.

“Plus, Ford is such a big name brand locally,” added Baltzer. “Everywhere you go out here in Idaho you see a Ford F150.”

“The company has big appeal with a long local reach,” he said.

The logo for the new Ford Idaho Center.

Baltzer said he expects the relationship with the local Ford dealers to deepen as they work on ideas for brand activation. Tickets for events at the 12,500-capacity arena and the 11,000-capacity amphitheater will be made available to Ford. He said the equestrian center is unique because most of the events involve contestants as opposed to large audiences.

“I think they may take a different kind of interest in that facility because it operates a bit differently, but the deal has only just been inked so we’re still figuring everything out,” Baltzer said, adding that there are only a couple of weeks until Feb.1 to change signage, business cards, uniforms and the website.

The Ford Idaho Center calculated an estimated cost for changing signage and is splitting the figure in half with Ford.

“We’re hoping to have everything done by Feb.1, but there’s so much involved to wipe the slate from everything that the old name was on, down to the signature in the bottom of email addresses,” added Baltzer.

He credited Director of Corporate Sales Ken King with securing the new naming rights deal. The local Ford dealers have been a sponsor for many years, but King continually discussed the option of expanding to a naming rights partner and the timing was finally right.

“They have not only sponsored the arena in the past, but sponsored many events and now have expanded to a much larger commitment,” said Baltzer. “I think we can take that out for a spin and have some fun with it.”

Interviewed for this story: Craig Baltzer, (208) 442-3363; Bob Henry, (208) 468-5411