Thoughts on Naming Rights

The big business news of the day was the announcement that the naming rights deal between FC Dallas and Pizza Hut was coming to an end.  The $1.2 million per year deal was a significant milestone when signed, and the loss of the naming rights agreement doesn’t bode well for a franchise also struggling to secure a jersey sponsorship. No reasons for the termination of the relationship have been provided.

Reports indicate that FC Dallas is speaking to a number of other naming rights partners, but nothing in the history of the Clark Family suggests that such a deal is in the offing. They have failed to secure stadium rights for Crew Stadium since the day the facility was built. Moreover,  in a market where teams are searching for income opportunities and sometimes struggling to find naming rights partners (see Cowboys Stadium), it should be expected that FC Dallas will struggle to find a new partner. The facility will be known as FC Dallas will be known as FC Dallas Stadium  until a new partner can be found.

The end of the relationship with Pizza Hut is especially poorly timed because of the recent Houston Dynamo deal for stadium rights deal over 10 years for $20 million.  FC Dallas and the Dynamo are longtime rivals and a new stadium and a valuable new partner will be a tough pill to swallow.  Things are especially stark given that FC Dallas couldn’t secure a jersey sponsor the year after its run to the finals and now is hunting for partners on multiple fronts.