San Diego Business Journal

For Sale: (Temporary) Naming Rights at Qualcomm Stadium

By Lou Hirsh Wednesday, August 2, 2017
   

It’s not clear how long it will actually be standing in Mission Valley, but the city is giving potential sponsors the chance to splash their name on the 50-year-old building now known as Qualcomm Stadium.

Under an arrangement with Fox Sports College Properties, which oversees marketing for athletics at San Diego State University, the city has issued a request for proposals to entities seeking naming rights. The catch is that the winner could be paying big bucks for rights that will last only until Dec. 31, 2018.

That date marks the end of SDSU’s current contract to play at the stadium. The city plans to close the venue by 2019, and it will eventually be demolished and replaced by a future mixed-use project with elements – possibly including a new sports stadium – still to be determined.

The nine-page request for proposals was issued Aug. 1, and submissions will be accepted through Sept. 1. Officials have said they would like to have the name finalized in time for the SDSU Aztecs’ Sept. 16 game against Stanford University.

Qualcomm Inc. paid $18 million for 20-year naming rights that expired on May 14. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that operators are anticipating bids of around $500,000 for this 16-month branding opportunity.

More information is available from Duke Little, vice president and general manager of Fox Sports College Properties (duke.little@foxsports.net).

For those with the resources, here are things to consider before submitting:

-- The winning sponsor will commit to provide exterior signage at the main stadium entrance at the sponsor’s cost. All sign placements must be approved by the city and comply with all municipal codes. The sponsor will be responsible for contracting all work related to sign installations, and those contractors must be qualified and insured.

-- Applicants are encouraged to describe “promotional advertising opportunities” that may include additional revenue or marketing benefits that support stadium attendance or attendees.

-- Potential sponsors must state their objectives and strategy to introduce, build and increase awareness of the stadium’s new name.

-- The city and Fox Sports will be the final arbiters of who plunks their moniker on the stadium and nearby signs, regardless of who submits the highest dollar bid. Title sponsorship entitles the winning entity to rename the stadium with a name chosen by the sponsor, but subject to city approval.

In other words, don’t expect some prank name to carry the day, along the lines of “Footy McFooty Face” – the winner in an informal poll taken earlier this year, when local investors asked the public for potential names for a future new Major League Soccer team.