Mercedes-Benz, in agreement with the Atlanta Falcons, has revealed that they have purchased the naming rights to the $1.4 billion Superdome in Atlanta, Georgia. Although this seems like an everyday business deal, it is much more than that. This deal is a significant, historical event for the NFL and Mercedes-Benz.
As a result of the partnership, Mercedes-Benz has become the first company in the automobile industry to own naming rights to two separate and major athletic facilities in the U.S. Along the new dome in downtown Atlanta where the Falcons will hopefully have a significant home field advantage, Mercedes-Benz also owns the naming rights to the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. Furthermore, Mercedes is one of only three automobile manufacturers that have naming rights to any NFL stadium (Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN, and Ford Field in Detroit, MI).
This deal is a little uncomfortable considering the Falcons and the Saints both compete in the NFL’s NFC South Division. However, it doesn’t seem to faze Saints' owner Tom Benson or Falcons' owner Arthur Blank. Both Benson and Blank have stated that they have no problem with Mercedes’ dual sponsorship of both teams.
“We could not be prouder to put ‘Mercedes-Benz’ on our stadium,” said Falcons owner Arthur Blank.
The question is, how beneficial will this deal be for the future of Mercedes-Benz?
Mercedes-Benz USA Owner and CEO, Steve Cannon (@SteveCannonCEO) called this deal the single largest marketing deal in Mercedes-Benz history. The Mercedes logo will be easily visible all throughout the inside of the stadium as well as the outside, where the company’s very prominent and well-known logo will be prominently featured on the outside of the Superdome’s retractable roof.
One of the biggest reasons Cannon decided to make this noteworthy move was due to the fact that the new headquarters for Mercedes-Benz will be relocated from New Jersey to metro Atlanta. Concurrent with the move, the terms and conditions of the naming of the Atlanta Superdome will have the agreement run from 2017-18 to 2041-42… a 25-year deal.
The big question for Mercedes-Benz, however, is how profitable is this second NFL sponsorship going to be for the company’s bottom line?
According to data found on SRBnet, the consumer rating of influence of purchasing sport sponsorships shows that the percentage of consumers that say sport sponsorship is extremely influential has increased by 1.9%, and the percentage of consumers that say sport sponsorship is not influential at all has decreased by 1.7%.
Overall, the chart states that, slowly but surely, the influence that sport sponsorship has on the profit of companies is increasing.
The amount of influence that this dual-naming-right-owning company has will be up for debate until the gates to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta opens for fans.
So will this multi-million dollar partnership pay major dividends down the road for Mercedes-Benz? Let’s wait and see.
This blog post was written by Samford University student Grace Bowes.
Tucker, Tim. "Falcons Officially Announce Mercedes-Benz as Naming Rights..." Atlanta Journal Constitution, 24 Aug. 2015. Web. 27 Aug. 2015. <http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/football/falcons-officially-announce-mercedes-benz-as-namin/nnP9Y/> .
Johnson, Drew. "Mercedes to Retain Superdome Naming Rights through 2021." LeftLane News RSS. N.p., 25 Aug. 2015. Web. 27 Aug. 2015. <http://www.leftlanenews.com/mercedes-to-retain-superdome-naming-rights-through-2021-89484.html> .
Data Image obtained from SBRnet
Photo obtained from @DarrenRovell