Per Ian Thomas of SBJ, the New York Red Bulls have called upon the expertise of Leverage Agency and MP & Silva to sell the naming rights to Red Bull Arena.
Home to the New York Red Bulls of MLS, the soccer-specific stadium has never had an outside naming-rights partner as it is owned by the company (Red Bull) itself. While the stadium has been open since 2010, it was not until the later half of 2015 that the club began exploring potential named partners. It has been reported that the Red Bulls are looking for at least a 10-year deal for around seven figures annually. Naming rights for stadiums/arenas/practice facilities, etc. is a big market where clubs can make a great deal of money. For example, T-Mobile bought the naming rights to the now, T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada for $375 million, offsetting the cost of the facility almost entirely. In MLS, most stadium naming-rights deals average between $1.5 – $2 million annually. An exception to this has been the stadium for expansion club Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) which sold its naming rights to Banc of California in a 15-year, $100 million deal.
MP & Silva, the 2016 recipient of the Best Sports Media of the Year award at the Globe Soccer Awards, was hired by Monumental Sports & Entertainment to sell the naming rights of the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. last year. Based on the award and reputation the company has in the soccer industry, the Red Bulls brought on the right group to find a naming-rights partner.
Leverage Agency is also no stranger to the soccer industry, as the company recently entered a three-year partnership marketing Bundesliga club FC Schalke 04 in the U.S.
With the Red Bulls searching for a naming-rights partner, and the growth of soccer in the U.S. it will be interesting to monitor until a deal gets done. Given the fact that there is no expiring contract on the stadium, there is not really a rush to get a deal in place. Instead, once a partner comes along with the right fit the deal will be negotiated.