The New Meadowlands Stadium has landed a new name.
MetLife Inc. announced Tuesday afternoon in East Rutherford that the year-old home of the New York Giants and Jets will now be known as MetLife Stadium.
The 25-year-deal bumps MetLife’s status from one of four cornerstone sponsors to the title sponsor. A new release announcing the deal did not disclose the value of the arrangement.
The deal includes lighted signage on the exterior of all four sides, 120,000 square feet of branded space at the main entrance to the stadium and four inner-bowl signs. Under the cornerstone sponsorship, worth roughly $7 million annually, the insurance giant had branding rights over one corner of the facility.
“Hundreds of millions of people will experience events at MetLife Stadium, either in person or via broadcasts from the venue,” said Beth Hirschhorn, chief marketing officer of MetLife. “MetLife Stadium now joins the portfolio of powerful and iconic marketing assets the company has cultivated over the years, including the MetLife blimps and the company’s association with the ‘Peanuts’ characters.”
It is estimated more than 2 million people attend events at the stadium, including concerts, sporting events and other special events, which is the only venue in the United States to be the home of two professional football franchises. Additional value for the naming rights will increase as the 2014 Super Bowl, which is being played at the stadium, approaches.
William Chipps, with Chicago-based IEG LLC, which specializes in sponsorships, said the naming rights will bring MetLife substantial media exposure, but is really interested to see what else the company does with its extended partnership.
Chipps said naming rights gives companies the “opportunity to tap into the passion that fans have to their favorite sports team,” but often deals do not take advantage of “bringing a sponsorship to life.”
Chipps said because naming rights deals are driven by community and media exposure, additional engagement — called “activation” — often is not achieved. Chipps said activation can be as simple as a retail promotion, combining a purchase with a ticket contest.
The deal already is promising to engage fans, as the company announced a fan-friendly celebration featuring players on both teams for Friday afternoon in New York.
“MetLife’s increased presence at the stadium will greatly enrich the game-day experiences for all visitors,” said Woody Johnson, Jets chairman and CEO. “With a full roster of activities and events, the inaugural season at MetLife Stadium will be unlike any other.”