Trading Places: Partners Keep Things Fresh by Switching Up Assets

September 20, 2023 Trading Places: Partners Keep Things Fresh by Switching Up Assets

Announcements of new top-level sponsorships that feature companies and brands making their sports marketing debuts typically create more buzz than renewal agreements with current partners, even when those latter deals include increased financial commitments and a higher profile.

But while not generating the excitement of a shiny new brand entering the arena, deals done with existing sponsors reveal industry maturity and carry with them the stability of longtime relationships, as well as better potential to be long-term, sustainable sources of revenue for the rights holder. They also are a signal to other sponsors and prospects that the property delivers value and helps its partners meet their objectives.

Three deals from the past week exemplify the idea of “keeping it in the family”:

  1. The Florida Panthers’ new arena naming rights partner is Amerant Bank, which, according to Sports Business Journal, “first signed on as the Panthers’ home helmet sponsor for the 2021-22 season before adding branding on the club’s road helmets ahead of last season. Last November, the club and bank expanded the partnership again, making Amerant the club’s official bank partner…The bank also has naming rights for a premium space at the arena called the Amerant Vault and recently started offering Panthers-branded checks and debit cards to customers.”

Clearly, Amerant saw more value in the partnership over time and has seized opportunities to increase its role and achieve further positive results.

  1. Having reached its goal of raising $50M for cancer research as the Utah Jazz jersey patch sponsor over the past six years—the nonprofit 5 For The Fight—will trade its uniform inventory for “permanent and interactive promotional space within the Delta Center,” according to SBJ. (Of note, the organization’s founder, Qualtrics executive chairman Ryan Smith, became the team’s majority owner in 2020.)

“For the 2023-24 season, the Delta Center concourse will feature an ‘All In Until Cancer Gives In’ wall…that allows fans to dedicate their $5 donations to someone who has battled cancer. Respective cancer patients will be featured on the LED wall screen through photos and images, while Jazz players will record personalized inspirational messages that can be sent to them digitally. A large bell will also be rung in the arena to honor fans who have finished chemotherapy treatments, and families affected by cancer will be hosted at Jazz home games, as well.”

More brand partners should consider that kind of asset swap to keep rights and benefits aligned with new objectives and to keep things interesting and relevant for fans and consumers.

  1. Having reached an agreement last year to buy back the rights to the club’s shirt front sponsorship from Germany-based software company TeamViewer, English Premier League soccer club Manchester United announced that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon brand has agreed to take over the position beginning in 2024.

According to Sportico, “Qualcomm became a Man United global partner in July 2022, and Snapdragon was the presenting sponsor of the club’s 2023 U.S. summer tour. Under the expanded agreement, Snapdragon will be the shirt partner on the home, away and third kits of both the men’s and women’s teams.”

Having been a partner of the club for over a year could give Snapdragon a leg up on breaking ManU’s jersey partner curse, which we explored in a blog post last year.