Jeter-Led Miami Marlins Sign Stadium-Naming Deal With LoanDepot
(Bloomberg) -- Baseball’s Miami Marlins, run by Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter, agreed to a multiyear naming rights deal for its stadium with lender LoanDepot Inc.
In an interview, Jeter said the deal culminated a methodical process to find a sponsor for Marlins Park, which will be renamed LoanDepot Park. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. The Marlins’ home was one of about 10 in the league that hadn’t awarded such branding rights, including New York’s Yankee Stadium and Dodger Stadiun in Los Angeles.
“This is one of the pillars for us as an organization, to continue to grow and build and be sustainable,” said Jeter, who is part of the group that bought the Marlins in 2017 for $1.2 billion and serves as chief executive officer. “We understood that we needed to turn it around not only the baseball-operations side, but on the business-operations side.”
On the field, the Marlins’ appearance in the playoffs last year is a sign that the team is moving in the right direction. “We’re starting to see the plan take shape, but we still have a long way to go,” said Jeter, 46, who retired as a player in 2014 after 20 years with the Yankees.
That plan includes corporate partnerships. AutoNation Inc. re-upped as a sponsor at a higher level, and the team also signed deals with Bacardi Ltd. and Stanley hand tools. The latter brands were past sponsors but left during the previous ownership, according to a team spokesman.
LoanDepot, based in Foothill Ranch, California, signed a deal earlier this year to become the “official mortgage provider” for Major League Baseball, and is also a presenting sponsor for the American League and National League championship series. The Marlins deal signals that LoanDepot is “doubling down on MLB,” founder and CEO Anthony Hsieh said in an interview.
The naming rights to a South Florida stadium appealed to Hsieh as a businessman and an immigrant, he said, citing the socioeconomic and ethnic breadth of the region, which encompasses the diversity of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. The state has long attracted residents relocating from the Northeast, a trend that has accelerated during the global pandemic.
The Marlins sponsorship follows a stellar year for LoanDepot, which more than doubled its loan originations in 2020 to over $100 billion. Revenue tripled to $4.31 billion over the same period.
“The housing market has certainly changed quite a bit over the last 18 months, Hsieh said. “With rising real estate prices across the country and now rising interest rates, there’s some concern about affordability, so we’re going to have to keep an eye on that for the rest of the year.”
The Marlins open their season Thursday at home against the Tampa Bay Rays, who won the American League pennant last year but lost to the Dodgers in the World Series. The Marlins will allow 25% capacity at the park, or roughly 9,400 fans.
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