Stadium naming rights could reach $10 million a year

11:20 PM, Nov 12, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - Names are everywhere at the current home for the Minnesota Vikings, but it's the name of the team's future home that has people taking notice.

What the Vikings Stadium will be called is anyone's guess.

University of St. Thomas professor John Wendt has a guess of his own. He specializes in sports and entertainment law.

"The internal candidate right now might be U.S. Bank. They're the ones in the best position. They're the ones that would benefit from the increased name recognition," said Wendt.

The Vikings are in the process of naming the stadium but have not decided on a name yet and most likely won't announce one for several weeks.

Either way it's going to be big money for Vikings owners. Just look at recent naming rights in bigger markets like Dallas and New York where stadiums scored deals around $20-million a year.

"I don't think they'll get anywhere near there. I think our range is somewhere between $5 million to $10 million a year for the next 20 years," he said.

U of M marketing professor Akshay Rao suggests three things the Vikings should focus on while deciding on a name for the stadium.

First, pick a company whose brand is unique. Second, make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck. And finally don't pick a dud for a company.

"Look into the future and assure themselves that this brand is unlikely to do something that is likely to embarrass them," said Rao.

He points to Enron Field in Houston, which the Astro's changed to Minute Maid Park after the Enron scandal several years back.

"That was a complete disaster," he said.

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