Soccer Business Bits: Philly Deal Finalized, DeRo’s money & More

As we discussed a couple of weeks back, PPL will be the naming rights sponsor for the new Union stadium on the Chester waterfront.  The deal was just officially announced.  The agreement has been announced at $20 million dollars for the life of the deal and the new facility will be called PPL Park.  In addition to stadium naming rights, PPL will also get hospitality events and experiences at the stadium, TV and radio advertising, signage boards and sponsorship rights in the youth soccer programs in which the Union have a foothold.  Given Pennsylvania’s recent de-regulation of the power industry, PPL is making a calculated gamble that now is a great time to enter the world of sports marketing. Despite economic conditions, the deal compares favorably with those of other MLS stadiums.  Dick’s Sporting Goods Park is a 20 year, $30 million dollar deal, BMO is 10 years and $23 million and Toyota Park is 10 years and $7.5 million.  The outlier is the 10 year $70 million dollar deal for the Home Depot Center.

The article also mentions that season ticket sales are almost at 10k with about one month until the season starts.  Individual game tickets are also now on sale for the home opener with tickets ranging from $28-$100.  The new stadium will open on June 27 after the first set of games will go forward at the Linc.

The Globe and Mail has an intersting story on the financial plans of midfielder Dwayne DeRosario.  The article provides some interesting insight into how a forward thinking athlete can plan for his financial life after the sports career ends.  It is pretty infrequent that athletes discuss their finances so openly and it is a credit to DeRo that is so forward thinking and willing to share.

Finally, you can take your pick of dire CBA news, from Grant Wahl to Jeff Carlisle to Andrea Canales.  Since a fair amount of what we do here is cover the media that covers soccer, it has been interesting to monitor the “big” names in American soccer press cover the CBA negotiations.  In some ways, the livlihoods of these scribes depend on the viability of MLS while their success in many ways depends on their sources within the game   As a result, there are some competing interests at play as sports journalists are forced to cover an unfamiliar topic while relying on agenda driven information.

2 Responses

  1. Hey Ben-

    Thanks for the article! I’m glad to see Philly get a naming sponsor – it’s good for the sport, but I do wonder the long-term value for the sponsor. Is there really a ROI or is it more about driving ego from the CEO’s office? How many companies have defaulted on naming rights deals in major sports over the last fifteen years? I don’t know the figures, but I would guess there are a lot of them.

    I particularly appreciated the DeRosario story – typical sensible Canadian. Love our friends to the north. I wish there were a hundred DeRosarios for every Lenny Dykstra out there. A lesson learned in business for all of us.


  2. Jerry:

    My sense in this case is that it is not ego driven. They are in the process of de-regulating the power industry in PA and PPL hopes that this exposure will pay off.

    Plenty default, but power companies are probably a safe bet.

    Lenny was my favorite player as a kid….not too great with his money (did well for a while)

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