Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Analysis: First Ontario Buys Copps Coliseum Naming Rights

So First Ontario is going to be the new naming rights holder for Copps Coliseum. The Spec is reporting that the amount is $350,000 per year for ten years. In a previous post about the topic, I guessed $200,000 a year (and I thought that might be a little high). I'm a bit surprised as basically there's not a lot of non-Hamilton exposure, as with the Bulldogs and concerts you won't have an effect like with Tim Horton's sponsorship for Ivor Wynne's replacement where the Ticats' stadium are constantly being mentioned nationally on TSN broadcasts.

On the other hand, Copps gets big concerts occasionally like the upcoming Kanye West concert when the Air Canada Centre is busy with the Leafs and Raptors, so people around Southern Ontario will hear the First Ontario name. Since First Ontario is pretty focused on Hamilton and its surrounding areas anyways, national name recognition isn't going to help them much anyways.

By way of comparison, Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, home of the NHL Senators has a 15 year 21 million dollar naming rights deal, so considering there is no NHL team $350,000 is a respectable number.

There's no known number for the Ticats from Tim Horton's sponsorship, but there are reports it is between $1 and $1.5 million per year.

Where is the money going? According to the Spec article not directly to the city:

"The 10-year naming deal is worth about $350,000 annually — unless an NHL team suddenly comes to town, in which case the deal would be revisited, Warren added.
The sponsorship doesn't put cash directly into city coffers, but it does push the aging, deficit-plagued entertainment venues closer to profitability.
Once Global Spectrum starts making money on Copps and Hamilton Place, the city will cash in with a 70 per cent cut of any profits over $450,000, said city finance head Mike Zegarac.
For now, the sponsorship deal will help cut the annual city subsidy for former HECFI properties."

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