Boston arena offers 24-hour naming rights

Updated: February 10, 2005, 10:44 AM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- The owner of FleetCenter is offering egomaniacs a shot at fleeting fame: a chance to buy personal naming rights to the sports arena for just a single day.

Bidders will not be required to include "Center" in the building name, and the arena will approve all names provided they're "rated G," owners said.

The rotating, day-to-day opportunity will be offered through an eBay auction while the arena's owners continue seeking a long-term naming rights deal to replace the FleetCenter name, now rendered obsolete by Bank of America's $48 billion acquisition last year of the former FleetBoston Financial Corp.

Bidding in the online auction was expected to start at $25, with proceeds from the 24-hour naming rights deals to go to a charity supported by the arena's owner, Delaware North Cos.

Single-day names for the home of the NBA's Boston Celtics and the NHL's Boston Bruins could carry the names of the bidder, a loved one, or a business.

As an example, Richard Krezwick, president and chief executive of Delaware North, offered his own suggestion: The Rollie Krezwick Center, in honor of the executive's dog, a wheaten terrier.

"He's a big sports fan," Krezwick said. "He watches hockey religiously."

Bidders will not be required to include "Center" in the building name, and the arena will approve all names provided they're "rated G," Krezwick said.

Winning bidders won't get to change the arena's large exterior signs, but will be able to see their chosen names on the FleetCenter's Web site, its JumboTron video screen, and a message for callers to the automated phone system, which will say "Thank you for calling the 'YourCenter.' "

They also will get four luxury seat tickets to the day's game or show, a framed photo collage and a certificate, and a "special surprise gift package."

Aspiring bidders can log onto the FleetCenter's Web site, www.fleetcenter.com, or eBay. Bidding was to begin Thursday.

An assortment of sports enthusiasts, publicity hounds and others are already latching onto the idea.

FleetCenter executives have been negotiating with a handful of sponsors to buy single-day deals before the 24-hour naming rights go to eBay bidders starting Feb. 16. Local Fox television station WXFT station and a Chicago-based sports marketing publication are among the initial potential sponsors.

The publisher of the sports publication, Dan Migala, will pay $500 to rename the building the MigalaReportCenter.

"We just bought naming rights for a stadium," Migala boasted. "We're big-time now."

Marketing specialists have estimated the value of FleetCenter's naming rights at more than $4 million a year, or nearly $11,000 per day.

Bank of America and FleetCenter last month announced an agreement allowing the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank to give up the arena naming rights it inherited with the acquisition of FleetBoston.

Krezwick said his company hopes to identify 50 to 100 companies that might be interested in securing long-term naming rights.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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