Newfound success for the Brooklyn Nets has driven owner Joe Tsai to begin negotiations for new corporate sponsors. Cellphone company Motorola currently pays for uniform patches, and GEICO sponsors the main entrance plaza at the Barclays Center.
Barclays, a British bank, currently holds naming rights to the arena. The bank has a deal to pay $20 million per year for 20 years.
The bank entered this agreement in 2007 with plans to open U.S. branches in the near future. However, the 2008 financial crisis forced the bank to abandon this intention.
The Brooklyn Nets reluctantly entered an amended agreement with Barclays, settling on $10 million for annual sponsorship dues. However, as the team’s success continues to increase, their worth is rising with it.
Being in the heart of Brooklyn, on the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic, the Barclays Center is a landmark in the borough.
Woody Thompson, executive vice president at Octagon Worldwide, a sports and entertainment agency, agrees. Thompson believes the Barclays Center is key to the city’s culture.
“Brooklyn and the Barclays Center is at the epicenter of sports, entertainment, media and culture,” said Thompson.
Further, in February, James Harden and Steve Nash were named the Eastern Conference Player and Coach of the Month. This, coupled with Harden’s iconic trio featuring Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, makes the Nets a most-watched team in the NBA.
According to branding experts, the team’s naming rights could potentially be worth between $15 million and $20 million.
As a result, BSE Global, the Nets parent company, is now campaigning to acquire more money from sponsorship agreements.
Tsai became the owner of the Brooklyn Nets in 2019, intending to increase the value of the arena’s naming rights by 2022. According to the naming rights agreement, however, BSE Global cannot withdraw until 2033.
BSE Global expressed no plans to change the name of the landmark facility in a statement to NetsDaily.
“BSE Global has a great relationship with Barclays. Neither side is looking to change the name of our iconic building,” they said.
BSE Global is, however, looking for new corporate sponsors to help settle financial debt. The Barclays Center owes $500 million in debt annually, with $36 million in monthly installments.
Tsai is personally responsible for paying these funds back and is working hard to do so. However, with the pandemic, the reopening of the arena may not spark much change in the financial situation.
Current sponsors, like GEICO and Motorola, could maintain their arrangements for the right price. Still, negotiations remain in the works.
CORRECTION: May 13, 9:50am In a previous version of this article it stated, “CEO John Abbamondi was heading a campaign for a new naming rights agreement.” That is incorrect. BSE Global has expressed no plans to change the Barclays Center’s name.
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