Investing in the naming rights for sporting arenas sends the “we’re in this for the long haul’ signal. Two of Melbourne’s major sports arenas have had name changes. Firstly Telstra Dome (nee Colonial) will be Etihad Stadium from March and secondly Vodafone Arena became Hisense Arena last July.
In 2000 Colonial State Bank paid $32.5 million for 10 years of naming rights. later that year, Commonwealth Bank took over Colonial State Bank and sold the naming rights to Telstra for about $50 million. The name was changed to Telstra Dome on 1 October 2002.
I recall the “pain” of Colonial Stadium becoming Telstra Dome and now just when this sits comfortably we’re off to Etihad Stadium. It’s good to see some brands take a longer term stance as such changes can take many months/years to hit the vernacular, hence the 5-6 year contracts.
What does it say about Colonial, Telstra and Vodafone, as they drop off? Does it mean they’ve sufficiently trodden on our conciousness and it’s time to move on or that they couldn’t afford to maintain this figure head positioning or the investment isn’t worth it or the new brands are willing to pay more? Whatever the reason we can expect Etihad in particular to leverage this positioning as we approach the AFL season…the direct mail has already begun to land.