Panthers unveil innovative naming rights deal

05 April 2011 | Posted in Sponsorship, Ice Hockey, North America, | By

In a first for ice hockey, the Florida Panthers National Hockey League (NHL) team have agreed a deal with car manufacturer Lexus that gives them naming rights of their ice rink. 
The Miami-based club have agreed a multi-year deal that sees the playing surface at the club’s BankAtlantic Center renamed the Lexus Rink. Reports suggest that the agreement is worth a mid- to upper-six-figure sum annually.
Whilst the agreement does not include on-ice exposure for Lexus because the Florida Panthers have already sold the four on-ice advertising positions permitted by the NHL to Bud Light, Dex Imaging, Ford and Gulfstream Park, it does grant them first disposal to buy on-ice space when it becomes available. A permanent sign hosting the Lexus Rink brand will be attached to the scoreboard, but this will only be turned on during Panthers home games and not at other events held at the arena.
Lexus is a long-term sponsor of the club, having been a founding partner and sponsor of the BankAtlantic Center’s suite and club level since 1998, and is also the official luxury vehicle of the Florida Panthers.

Michael Yormark, president and chief operating officer for Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, the Panthers’ parent company, commented: “This is their third renewal, and Lexus was looking for something a bit different, the ‘next big idea.' They still have their branded parking lot deal for all events, but they challenged me to come up with something new. For us, it created new inventory that we haven’t taken advantage of in the past.”

The Panthers have endured a difficult 2010/11 NHL season and currently sit bottom of the Eastern Conference with three games left to play.

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