Economics + Wealth

Should Nigeria “sell” the National Stadium and National Theatre? The LA Lakers example

The PR and economics of sports in full force and question 

Should Nigeria "sell" the National Stadium and National Theatre? The LA Lakers example

The Staples Center, home to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, will be renamed the Crypto.com Arena after a Singapore-based cryptocurrency brokerage paid to sponsor the iconic sports and concert venue. Can Nigeria borrow a leaf from this script and consider selling the naming rights of the National Stadium and some its national arenas?

The arena’s owner, AEG Worldwide, said it struck a 20-year naming rights agreement with Crypto.com. The name change would be effective from Dec. 25. It didn’t disclose the financial terms of the naming arrangement. It can be expected to run into hundreds of millions of dollars.

In addition to the Lakers, the Staples Center is home to the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers and the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. The 20,000-seat venue is a hub for major concerts and in entertainment-obsessed Southern California is a place to be seen by Hollywood stars both as performers and courtside spectators.

Crypto.com was founded in 2016 and has over 2,600 employees. It offers cryptocurrency trading including letting users borrow up to 10 times their capital to invest in digital currencies.

This is a perfect example of the PR and economics of sports playing out in full force.

Examples of sponsored sports arenas around the world

Stadium/Arena Team(s) Sponsor
Juventus Stadium Juventus Allianz
New York Stadium Rotherham United AESSEAL
Scotia Bank Arena Toronto Raptors Scotia Bank
Red Bull Arena (Leipzig) RB Leipzig Red Bull
Los Angeles Staples Centre LA Lakers Crypto
St Andrew’s Birmingham City & Coventry City Trillion Trophy Asia
St James’ Newcastle United FC Sports Direct
The Emirates Arsenal FC Emirates
The Etihad Manchester City FC Etihad Airways

the National Stadium and National Theatre

PR and economic benefits of sports arenas’ renaming

One of the most famous sponsored sports Arenas in the world is The Emirates Football Stadium, home of Arsenal FC. Why do companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars to rename a stadium? Here are some of the strategic benefits:

• Makes a bold statement about the brand or company, almost signaling that “we have arrived.”
• Reinforces the brand image
• Helps a brand gain dominance of a particular market or sector.
• Name recognition and TV mileage: Imagine the amount of free airtime Emirates gets from the TV coverage of Arsenal matches in The Emirates stadium
• Market penetration
• Enter the mainstream: For example, Crypto’s name ownership of the Los Angeles Staples Centre has heralded crypto currency into the American mainstream
• Provide lucrative long-term income to the stadium owners.[1]

Should Nigeria also sell the National Stadium and National Theatre?

the National Stadium and National Theatre

Why has Nigeria not considered selling the naming rights of the National Stadium or the National Theatre given the obvious marketing and financial benefits? Here are some possible reasons[2]:

▪ The sports marketing infrastructure is still fragmented and relatively immature, with no obvious presence of any company with great clout.
▪ The political factors are too strong.
▪ National sentiments will always be at play, and uproar will follow any such move.
▪ Mistrust of Government.
▪ Corruption across all corridors of power in Government as well as in business and sports.
▪ Where will the money go? This will probably be the biggest consideration and the most likely reason to drive a rift between sponsor and Government.

Only imagine

the National Stadium and National Theatre

Until this fusion between sports and economics manifests in Nigeria in stadium renaming, we can also sit back and admire classic marketing in action in other parts of the world. For now, we can only imagine.

Article Sources

Article Sources
1 Wall Street Journal
2 Football Stadium
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