Red Bulls shop naming rights for Red Bull Arena

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by DAVE MARTINEZ

It is hard to imagine Red Bull Arena going by any other name, but like so many modern stadia, that is the way New York is headed.

Sports Business Journal reports the New York Red Bulls “have begun exploring a naming-rights deal for Red Bull Arena” which would include a 10-year deal and a seven-figure sponsorship price tag.

EoS can confirm the report.

Red Bulls ad

This would be the first time in the six year history of Red Bull Arena that the naming rights of the stadium have been actively shopped. As SBJ details, New York have begun speaking to potential agencies to help the process along, but have yet to settle on a potential sales partner. A league source tells EoS that the club has only “just started” exploring the possibility, likely with an eye on the 2016 season for completion.

Several MLS clubs already have robust stadium sponsorship deals in place. The San Jose Earquakes inked a 10-year, $20 million accord last year with Avaya. The $2 million-a-year deal is in line with several other stadium agreements including Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Colorado and the 15-year deal signed between Rio Tinto and Real Salt Lake. On the other end of the spectrum, the Chicago Fire have a 10-year, $7.5 million deal with Toyota.

The Galaxy held a 10-year, $70 million accord with Home Depot through 2013 before signing with current sponsor StubHub on a six-year deal worth around $10 million annually. New York will look for a more robust deal along those lines.

This is just the latest endeavor from the Red Bulls to exploit the financial possibilities of Red Bull Arena. The team has also floated ideas of hosting outside events at the Arena year round, including concerts, NCAA events — and even an NHL Winter Classic match.

  • BleedingRed

    It’s a good move. Alot of potential income has been ignored for a long time.

  • Andrew

    A Winter Classic match at red bull arena would be amazing. Hopefully it wouldn’t do much damage to the pitch, either…

    • Philip

      I’d imagine it wouldn’t do any damage Andrew. I’m sure they lay down new sod prior to the start of the season anyway.

      • Andrew

        Then I’m guessing capacity is the only reason it probably wouldn’t fly. When they pack in 100K at the Big House, not a tough decision. Still, it would be relatively intimate and very cool.

        I’d go and I’m not even a fan of NY/NJ teams.

        • Philip

          Capacity is definitely an issue for that very reason. But it be a sight to see if the NHL decided to do it.

  • slowleftarm

    Hopefully they take this money and spend it on marketing so that RBA or whatever it’s called is fuller on matchday.

  • 123-12

    bigger screens please

  • NJ Pink Cows

    Aaah. It’s just a way to make NJ Energy Drink SC seem a little less like the corporate entity they are. Taking RB off the arena name is a just way of trying to change percepion of the team, that’s all. Their attendance doesn’t compare to the NY team.

    • slowleftarm

      And the record of the “NY team” doesn’t compare to RBNY.

    • So, your theory is that a corporate entity is trying to make itself seem less “corporate” by selling the name of its stadium to another corporate entity for profit. Do you see how this theory doesn’t make sense?

    • ’96

      Aw, first year Lite fans.

    • T. Faust

      NEWS FLASH: All MLS teams are corporate entities.

  • Dan in New York

    Am I missing something? Isn’t Red Bull Arena already branded with Red Bull the company? If they take that away and name it something else corporate, aren’t they cutting off their nose to spite their face?

    • JD

      I wouldn’t say so. In the print/intenet media people will see the jerseys with the prominent Red Bull logo or read the team name Red Bull New York. On TV, Red Bulls will still be said over 30 times a broadcast regardless of the arena name. Pluss you still habe the red bull logo on the seats. I would imagine the income from the sale of arena naming right would bring in more revenue than the current revenue gained through calling it red bull arena.

  • I’m wondering if there’s more than meets the eye here. I mean, if they really wanted to raise revenue, why not use the facility for more events, but keep the name? I don’t know, but this sounds like it could be the start of a divestment strategy.

    • EnglishRBNY

      Maybe. Or maybe they realise that an mls and usl branded team is enough, and that its a good opportunity to make free money!

    • New York empire fc

      Exactly, it doesn’t make sense to get stadium naming rights out of no where.
      I’m with you my fellow cosmos fan, it doesn’t make sense.
      What if they are waiting for some big money ownership group like cosmos or the Vegas dude to come in and give $400-$500 million for everything.
      This doesn’t make sense, why not just rebrand the team but keep red bull as the stadium sponsor or jersey sponsor.
      Most if their fans want a rebrand, if it wasn’t for nycfc, red bull would have died. If you ask me, this is just the beginning, I was expecting red bull and still expect red bull to be sold in less than 5 years.
      I’m not a business genius, but if red bull is sold and has a new stadium sponsor name, what happens then? It looks like a business gimmick to sell the team.

    • Anonymous

      The start was dumping high salaries and going cheap on DPs. This is just the second phase of divestiture.

      From that point of view, not only does this make sense, but it was predictable.

  • David Carlin, Farm Animal Molester

    Sounds like they’re pulling up the stakes .

    • ’96

      Fingers crossed!

      • New York empire fc

        How much WOULD red bull go for, $400 or $500 million.
        Who has the money to buy the team, the Vegas dude or cosmos,
        If you ask me, this is cosmos last chance to buy red bull or negotiate something and join powers.
        I just don’t see red bull selling unless they get $500million.
        Red bull won’t sell, they are chivas USA with steroids and they are paying nothing just to market red bull in MLS and all over the US.

        • Reasonable minds can differ on this NY Empire, but let me just say that personally as a Cosmos fan the last thing in the goddam world I would want is for them to buy Red bull.

          The Cosmos as a franchise in single entity MLS is no longer the Cosmos. Now, if MLS ended single entity, I would change my mind, but I honestly don’t see that happening.

          • slowleftarm

            Yeah, imagine having to travel to an actual soccer stadium with fans in it. Imagine Cosmos games actually being on TV. That’s not what Cosmos are about!

            • Guurrrrrrrggggglllllleeeeeeee. The insanely jealous **** ant is trying to say something.

              We want all of those things. But if it means that the Cosmos are no longer the Cosmos, just franchise #20 of the Major League Soccer entity, I personally am not interested. But it’s nice to see that you are so fervently in support of the Cosmos purchasing your franchise. I’m flattered.

              • slowleftarm

                No, I’m happy with things the way they are, thanks. Not much to complain about right now with RBNY arguably the best club side in the US at the moment, playing in one of the finest SSS in the country.

                I guess the exalted status of being the Cosmos, having the same name as some defunct club that Pele played a few games for 40 years ago, is enough for you. I guess it makes up for watching a bunch of MLS rejects play Louisville and Ottawa in a lacrosse stadium with 3k of your closest friends.

              • Troy

                The average fan couldn’t give a hoot about single-entity ownership. You must be a Cosmos back office tool using a fan website to influence events. A sad and pathetic waste of time.

                • Anonymous

                  Dunno, man
                  There’s a lot more of those “against modern football” types than you realize.

                  They all think they’re St Pauli or FC United of Manchester

                  Antifa Cosplay

            • #NostraChavez

              Hahaha so true, SlowLeftArm. Only an idiot would prefer Cosmos in their present predicament, and utter lack of a way out. It’s MLS or bust for them. They will never compete with NYCFC and RBNY for relevance/popularity/attendance in the minor league NASL.

              • yes, the Cosmos will only compete, and defeat, NYCFC on the playing field. But who cares about competition. MLS is a soccer celebration! GO SOCCER!!!

                • slowleftarm

                  The game was actually a draw but one-off cup results don’t prove much anyway particularly when the bigger club doesn’t take it seriously. I doubt Bradford fans are claiming they’re better than Chelsea.

                  • Bradford fans don’t think they’re better than Chelsea because they compete in a soccer pyramid in which Bradford, based on on the field performance, haven’t made it as high as Chelsea. That’s what competition is.

                    Fans of Porto, however, claim rightfully until their next game, that they are better than Chelsea because the teams competed and they won.

                    Fans of MLS franchises are the only fans in the world who don’t talk about competition. IT’s weird to be a fan of a league.

                    • slowleftarm

                      First of all, I doubt Porto fans are saying they are better than Chelsea based on one result. But I also don’t know what you’re talking about. Fans of MLS teams care about how their teams are doing. I think generally MLS fans are concerned about the league doing well as a whole because they also realize MLS is important to the growth of soccer in this country. Unlike myopic Cosmos fans who only care about the growth of the “global brand”

                      It’s also not unusual to be concerned about a league as a whole. When EPL teams have crashed out of the champions league early the past few years, there has been plenty of angst about why the league isn’t able to compete at the same level it has in the past. Generally fans of teams in Europe root for teams from their country to do well in Europe.

                    • I had no idea that teams who win the champions league don’t consider themselves the best teams in europe. Might as well not play the games, just celebrate the game and decide who is better based on what anonymous yahoos have to say about it.

                    • slowleftarm

                      I have no idea what argument you’re responding to. Certainly not one I made. I guess arguing against straw men is easier. Or did Porto already win the 2016 UCL and I missed it?

  • i am the nacho man

    Well the red bulls have to make money …yearly, they lose money . so with a stadium name deal would help them … A very few mls teams make money ,sounders, timbers, galaxy, and so on …

  • i am the nacho man

    Yes , mls teams or owners , will make money by the value going up , and stadium property… But in ticket sales and how much they are bringing in , its not there….

  • EnglishRBNY

    ^ yup. Hence why don is trying to up the TV revenue. It’s not about the Austrians losing interest or cosmos buying them(gimme a break)

    Naming rights to the stadium is a common sense, modern football thing to do.

    Red bull are playing the German footballing equivalent of money ball. They threw some cash around to get started. Now they’re solidifying their efforts. You can’t look at RBNY and judge what you see without looking at the bigger red bull picture. They’re following a pattern that has already played out to some success with their Austrian and German teams.

    Red bull is not selling. Cosmos are dying. Get over it.

    But I’m sure I’ll keep reading the same retarded “cosmos needs to buy red bulls” dog ****, from the same deluded people on here.

  • Someone sent this to me from Metrofanatic. I think it makes a lot of sense.

    “Red Bull (to my knowledge) has never maintained ownership of infrastructure and removed their branding from it for cash considerations. Historically they’ve either sold it outright (in the case of their NASCAR, Ghana teams) or maintained full branding control as they have with us, Leipzig and Salzburg. I’m not saying this is a sale signal necessarily, but I think it’s worth mentioning that no one can recall a time where they’ve willingly allowed their brand to take a back seat on anything they own. Think about that.”

    • slowleftarm

      I’m still not sure I see the connection. I supposed already having a deal for naming rights for the stadium in place could make the team slightly more attractive to buyers but it seems just as plausible to me that ownership has put pressure on RBNY to at least break even and this is another source of revenue.

      As long as new ownership is committed to winning and on continuing the good work that has been started with the academy I wouldn’t really care one way or the other. Since some people have a hang up with the name of the team, it at least would help attract new fans.

      • Well believe it or not I agree with this. And frankly, if someone were to buy the club and the stadium, I would assume they would want the opportunity to monetize the stadium. I do, on the other hand, find it outside of their usual business practices to sell naming rights given the fact that their sports ownership model is built around enhancing their brand name. But honestly who the hell knows.

    • JD

      If you thing Red Bul’s F1 teams don’t have sponsors outside of Red Bull you are kidding yourself. Picking and choosing data does not make a case.

    • MTF

      First time for everything.

  • Joseph Linhart

    I wonder if RBNY would consider selling partial rights. Do something like “Audi Field at Red Bull Arena”? Or if Red Bulls want to expand their footprint with what property is available i.e. build a smaller 10K stadium for women’s soccer, rugby, lacrosse, they could have the entire campus called Red Bull while selling the rights to the different arenas.

    • Troy

      I don’t suspect someone paying millions of dollars would want that dilution in branding. It, as the article describes, will be “Corporate Entity” Arena.

      • Joseph Linhart

        Or perhaps we could see a “Red Bull Field at Audi Arena”?

  • William

    from 1996 till now this franchise has been a failure most will deny it from the results on the field, the rebranding, changes of ownership spin it anyways u want – it all leads to the same place in the end.

    • slowleftarm

      Well this year it’s led to RBNY being on the cusp of the Supporters Shield, earning a spot in next season’s champions league and being arguably the best club in the country.

  • T. Faust

    People are so desperate to read the tea leaves on this. Hilarious.

    • Lots of Red bull fans would love to see Red Bull divest, so I guess that drives it.

    • Troy

      Red Bull was shopping the team for bids not that long ago so its not much of a stretch to read some tea leaves.

  • New York empire fc

    The only way red bull sells, that’s if someone comes and drops $400 to $500 million and trust me, that’s more than enough but who has that kind of money.
    Cosmos might, the Vegas dude might find some other partners, how about the mets and Knicks owner buy red bull.
    Anything can happen, specially with garber.
    What about trump, or PSG or even man united owners.
    MLS is growing and Real Madrid wants a team in the US or MLS right.

    • slowleftarm

      Makes sense – just name a bunch of random rich people and one of them surely wants to purchase RBNY.

  • OpenCupFan

    I heard MetroMedia, along with Mike Petke, are going to buy the team back. And then we will have lunch trucks again and ticket prices will go down. Everywhere else in America inflation will happen but not here. You will be able to bring your own beer too. Soon, the rest of FIFA and all professional sports will follow.

  • Joseph Linhart

    Since we are taking about investment/divestment and shifting ownership, would not the Cosmos benefit by approaching the Mets for a percentage of ownership a la NYCFC and the Yankees.

    It’s not as if the Cosmos need the money of course, but having a local partner (and one who is the hottest in baseball right now) may be very beneficial to helping the team with both visibility and a stadium. Cosmos games can be played on SNY.

    The Mets could help navigate local politics, maybe even host a few Cosmos games, offer cross ticket promotions. The Mets would benefit too by having another monied investor. Winning the pennant/WS will certainly help Met coffers but I’m sure after Maddoff they could still use the extra cash, especially as they will have to try and resign players like Cespedes.

    Keep in mind I’m a Red Bulls supporter, but I think that New York is better by have three viable soccer organizations more than two, even if not all are in MLS. Note how exciting is was during that magical three week period where all three teams played each other. A Cosmos partnership with the Mets might be the best way outside of joining MLS for it become and stay viable and relevant. Thoughts anyone?

    • EnglishRBNY

      What could a winning mets team possibly want or need from the cosmos? Regardless of madoff, I don’t think the money would be enough to warrant the effort.

      If the cosmos had good momentum and were pulling in huge attendance figures then maybe. I can imagine the mets looking at the Yankees/city thing after this year and thinking “**** that noise!”

      • William

        what about the Harrison Metrostars u think u can win one in this century ? Pathetic history champ.

        • slowleftarm

          You can say what you will about RBNY’s history but it still beats Hempstead’s history of two seasons of minor league ball at a lacrosse stadium with crowds of 4k on average. Now that is pathetic!

          • William

            how so genius ? please explain-

      • William

        what are u talking about u yellow toothed loser go back to your failing country

  • rebel fighter

    Starbuck SC (snob club) or Dunkin Donuts DC (dough club) would be great