In the past century, professional sports have gone from pastime to big-time business. The uses of stadium naming rights have allowed companies to increase brand awareness and create a positive brand identity, key attributes for profitable companies. With thousands of people attending stadium events and millions more watching on television each year, the value of stadium naming deals is unquestionable. By bidding for the right to change the Oakland Arena to the Hansen Arena, Hansen Natural is not making just a deal, but rather a sound investment.
Hosting events ranging from professional sports to famous music concerts, stadiums have great potential to become the focal point of a city. In a survey by Performance Research, 61% of the people believed facilities named after corporations add favorably to the community. With effective relationship marketing, companies can utilize stadiums to create a positive brand identity among the surrounding community, a determining factor in the consumer stage of purchase-decisions. However, undertaking stadium sponsorship without considering the needs of clubs or fans would appear to be a "cold-hearted attempt to buy a company's way into the sport."1 Thus, using a promotional mix that targets sports fans and athletes would contribute towards Hans Natural gaining the support of the Bay Area community.
In a time when many firms are competing to break through the "clutter," brand awareness has become a prevalent factor for the growth of a firm with stadium naming at the forefront. In urban areas such as Chicago, nearly 90% of the people correctly named stadium sponsors without aid.2 Initially an anonymous firm, 3Com, makers of the now widespread Palm handhelds, became the first tech firm to purchase stadium-naming rights. Despite some traditionalists favoring the more habitual Candlestick Park, 3Com solidified itself as a consumer company. "The value of a dealas measured against the cost of the same amount of media exposure if...
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