Oracle Pays More Than $200 Million to Rename San Francisco Giants’ Stadium
(Bloomberg) -- Oracle Corp. has bought the naming rights to the San Francisco Giants’ stadium for more than $200 million, according to people familiar with the matter -- a second deal to boost its brand image by sponsoring a hometown sports facility in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Oracle, the world’s second-largest software maker, will own the rights for 20 years on the Major League Baseball stadium now known as AT&T Park, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing the agreement. It will be renamed Oracle Park effective immediately with the new deal, the baseball team and company said Thursday in officially announcing their partnership.
The pact is the latest in a wave of blockbuster branding deals for professional sports facilities. JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to pay $15 million to $20 million annually over 20 years for the rights to the new Chase Center in San Francisco, where the Golden State Warriors will play once it opens for the 2019-2020 basketball season. Barclays Plc agreed to pay $400 million over 20 years for the name to the Brooklyn Nets arena in New York City.
Since 2006, Oracle’s name has been on the arena across the Bay in Oakland, California, that has been home to the Warriors of the National Basketball Association. That deal expanded the reach of the software maker’s brand nationwide as the Stephen Curry-led team won three championships in the past four years. The arena, nicknamed Roaracle because of the loud fans, brought some lightness to Oracle’s image, which had been synonymous with databases and corporate applications.
Oracle has had a lengthy relationship with the Giants before the stadium name-rights agreement, including sponsoring a variety of in-game features and nonprofit efforts, the company and team said.
“There aren’t many 20-year relationships any more and putting one together takes work,” Oracle Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd said at a news conference. “We wouldn’t have done this in 30 days, and that’s basically what it took, with any organization we didn’t trust or any organization we didn’t feel culturally aligned with.”
The San Francisco Chronicle earlier reported Oracle’s acquisition of the naming rights to the ballpark.
“While there were several national and local companies interested in the opportunity, Oracle – a longstanding partner of the Giants – was a perfect fit,” said Giants President and CEO Larry Baer.
In 1996, Pacific Telesis bought the rights to the not-yet-constructed stadium where the Giants now play for $50 million over 24 years, then paid the team $8 million more to expand the deal, which was scheduled to expire with the 2019 season. After telecommunications mergers and acquisitions, Pacific Telesis became part of what is now AT&T Inc., and since 2006, the stadium on the waterfront just south of downtown has been known as AT&T Park. AT&T gave the Giants the option of ending their agreement a year early if the team could find a new partner, Baer said.
“That price tag seems very fair,” Kevin Bartram, principal of Bartram Partnerships, a brand sponsorship consultancy, said of Oracle’s deal with the Giants. Bartram was one of the consultants who negotiated the Pacific Telesis-Giants partnership. “The price has escalated significantly since we did the original deal. But we’ve seen with Levi’s Stadium and the Chase Center that for some companies, there’s a lot of value there.”
As part of the new agreement, Oracle will invest with the Giants to improve the park during the next five years, including for the construction of a new scoreboard for the upcoming season, and in “emerging technologies to create unique experiences for fans.” The team and company said they also will develop joint community outreach and hospitality programs.
AT&T Park is about 23 miles north of Oracle’s headquarters in Redwood City, California.
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