Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Forever Staples -- LA Venue is Permanently Identified with Office Products

Okay, so this post isn't really about digital media or technology. It is about something that is of personal interest because I have been involved in these kinds of deals in the past when I worked at Universal Studios (way back when in the 90s).

In the first ever deal of its kind, Staples (the office superstore) has agreed to paid some unknown sum for a venue naming sponsorship that will last forever -- i.e., in perpetuity. That means that LA's downtown entertainment venue will be forever named the "Staples Center" and forever associated with paper products, paper clips, post its and ... well ... staples.

This is a first -- has never happened before. Is really unprecedented. Is quite amazing actually.

Previously, in 1999, Staples agreed to pay $120 million for a 20 year sponsorship. So, what did it take to extend the additional 10 years remaining for essentially the rest of the venue's life? Neither party would say, but that "perpetual" price apparently had already been defined in the agreement struck in 1999 (in other words, Staples apparently exercised a pre-existing option).

(NOTE -- actually, digital media is involved in a tangential way in relation to the Staples Center, as performances and events within the building certainly are now monetized over the Web and those online broadcasts and on demand performances ultimately should yield some real money.)