By Barry Janoff
August 13, 2013: It's not at the financial level of the recent deals that saw AT&T get naming rights to the Dallas Cowboys home stadium or Levi's acquire rights to the new venue being built for the San Francisco 49ers.
But it is a big deal in Portland and the NBA.
The Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday unveiled a ten-year deal with insurance provider Moda Health to rename the Rose Garden the Moda Center.
Financial terms were not disclosed. In comparison to the AT&T deal in Dallas and the Levi's deal with 49ers — put at $17-$19 million and $11 million, per year, respectively, by industry analysts — this one likely will come closer to the approximate $1.5-$2.5 million per year that Sleep Train Mattress Centers paid late last year for naming rights to the Sacramento Kings venue.
The top naming rights deal in the NBA goes to Barclays Center, home to the Brooklyn (NY) Nets, at $10 million a year.
Transformation of the renamed arena would "begin immediately, with new signage and other visual elements being added gradually," according to the team. New graphics for the home court surface would debut in time for Portland’s 2013-14 regular season home opener, Nov. 2, versus the defending Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs, per Blazers president Chris McGowan.
The new logo will keep ties to the past by incorporating a rose, a reference to Portland's nickname, the Rose City. Team owner Paul Allen, whose company, Vulcan Inc., owns the building, named the facility the Rose Garden when it opened in 1995.
“These are the types of deals [that] raise an organization to the next level. The Rose Garden put us on the map. Moda Center is going to take us to the future.”
McGowan and Dr. William Johnson, president of Moda Health, said at a press conference that the alliance extends well beyond naming rights and arena signage. Moda plans to involve healthy kids and healthy living initiatives, improve the food and beverage offerings in the arena and reinvest in the surrounding Rose Quarter neighborhood to make it a cultural hub.
“Since our company was founded in 1955, we’ve invested in projects that create healthy people and healthy places,” said Johnson said during the press conference. “This partnership reaffirms our commitment to this community as we invite people now to join us in creating in the heart of our city a neighborhood that celebrates healthy urban living. We know that together we can be more. Be better.”
According to McGowan, “These are the types of deals you have to do to raise an organization to the next level. The Rose Garden is not going away. The Rose Garden put us on the map. Moda Center is going to take us to the future.”
PHOTO: Courtesy Portland Trail Blazers