Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Naming Rights for "The K"

This morning Front Row Analytics posted a very interesting tweet regarding the naming rights of Kauffman Stadium. As you can see above the company estimates that a sponsor could have generated approximately $28.1 million in advertising value from having its name plastered on Kauffman throughout the postseason.

Some of you might recall past rumors about the naming rights to Kauffman Stadium. In 2011, Yahoo reported that the team had sold the rights  for $3-6 million annually over the next 21 years. Later it was reported that a deal had fallen through with US Bank to acquire the naming rights to the stadium known affectionately by Royals fans as "The K."

I come from a background in sports marketing and sales and so I realize as well as anyone that everything has a price. This is especially true when it comes to sports marketing and promotion. However, I couldn't get myself to be accepting of selling the Kauffman name for just $3-6 million per season. Roughly enough to add a utility player or middle reliever to the roster. 

What Front Row Analytics illustrates though is how quality performance can boost revenue across the board. Not only will the Royals sell more seats in 2015 than they have for twenty years, but they will also see an increase in advertising and sponsorship revenue as a result. More butts in the seats means more eyes on the field, eyes on the screens, and ears next to radios. These things equate to dollars. 

I'm not sure what it would take for me to be happy to hear that the Royals have sold the naming rights to Kauffman Stadium. Would $6-10 million be enough to get the job done? Would $10-15 million per year make it worth it? Obviously, that sort of money could be a huge boon to the payroll of the franchise and more important to me than the name of the stadium is the product on the field.

For many fans, there is no number that could make such an action acceptable. What we must remember is that no matter the name scripted on to the facade of the building it will always be "The K" for us. 

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