Skip to main content

As Barclays trims operations and reviews sponsorship deals, could Brooklyn arena naming rights be transferred?

Could the name Barclays Center be temporary, and not last the 20-year tenure of the $200+ million naming rights deal the British bank signed with arena developer Forest City Ratner?

Any answer is speculative, but the question's worth asking since Barclays has made dramatic moves to cut costs and business operations, and in doing so is re-evaluating its many sponsorships.

(The Brooklyn arena has not been specifically mentioned as a target, but as we know, Atlantic Yards is full of surprises: who expected the Russian oligarch, the Chinese government-owned investment group, or the EB-5 investments?)

Barclays has already announced plans to end its sponsorship of London's bike-hire program and is considering not renewing its sponsorship of a major soccer league in the U.K.

The Barclays Center name certainly helped put Barclays on the map in America, but it hasn't done much for overall business growth and profits. The United States remains a key business location for Barclays' work in investment banking, not retail banking, with the latter presumably a stronger argument for promotion.

The Brooklyn deal was the brainchild of now-departed Chief Executive Bob Diamond. Heck, the Barclays logo on the arena roof should be covered by green in the next year.

What about a transfer?

If Barclays leaves its Brooklyn sponsorship before the 20 years is up, that would be more complicated than not renewing a contract. The naming rights would have to be transferred to a new buyer, a not-uncommon occurrence in the world of sports facilities that is surely contemplated in the contract.

Could that might mean a loss for Barclays, given that it paid a large sum--though not as large as the $300-$400 million in initially reported--to make a big splash? I don't know.

Or, given that the Brooklyn arena is quite busy and is located in the world's media capital, maybe Barclays could make a profit. The arrival of the hockey Islanders in the fall of 2015 might be a good time for an arena reboot.

If so, a name change would require some rejiggering of Brooklynites'--nay, New Yorkers'--mental maps, given that the Atlantic Avenue-Pacific Street station saw its name changed to Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center. (The payment in that case was by the arena developer, Forest City, not by the bank.)

Barclays stepping back, January edition

The U.K. Telegraph reported 1/25/14:
Barclays is considering ending its £40m-a-year [$67.37 million USD] sponsorship of the Premier League after senior figures at the bank said it had “zero value” in the UK.
The bank’s present deal runs until the end of the 2015-16 football season and members of Barclays’ leadership team are concerned that rapid price inflation for sports rights will mean a much higher amount will be demanded by the Premier League for the next three-year deal.
One reason the deal was said to have little value is that the Barclays name is well-known in the UK. It's far less known in the United States, which is why Diamond, upon announcing the Brooklyn deal in 2007, said, "Building our brand in the U.S. is very, very important to us."

The Wall Street Journal reported 1/26/14:
Barclays PLC may end its long-running relationship with the English Premier League when its current sponsorship deal expires in 2016, according to a person familiar with the matter
The British bank is weighing its options for the world renowned soccer league amid a broader review of its sponsorship of high profile events, which include the tennis ATP World Tour Finals in London and the Barclays Center in New York.
The outcome of the general sponsorship review is ongoing and no definitive decision has been made, according to a person familiar with the matter....
Several of these flagship sponsorship deals were brokered under former chief executive Robert Diamond as the bank sought to raise its profile both in the U.K. and abroad.
Barclays stepping back, May edition

After Years of Ambitious Growth, Barclays Seeks to Be Leaner, the New York Times reported 5/9/14:
The British bank announced on Thursday plans to take an ax to its investment banking business — which has major operations in New York as well as London and Asia — by slashing half of its capital and more than a quarter of its work force, or 7,000 jobs.
Instead, Barclays will focus on four core areas: retail and corporate banking, primarily in Britain; credit cards; banking in Africa; and, to a lesser extent, investment banking.
...The overhaul represents a turnaround from the empire-building ambitions of Robert E. Diamond Jr., the bank’s previous chief executive. Mr. Diamond, a former bond trader at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse First Boston, aggressively built a global banking franchise after joining Barclays in 1996, culminating in the 2008 acquisition of the bulk of Lehman Brothers’ investment banking operations.
But in the last few years, embarrassing regulatory investigations and penalties, combined with capital shortfalls and lackluster returns, have cast a cloud over what was once the swashbuckling and money-minting side of the bank and led to the 2012 ouster of Mr. Diamond after just 18 months as chief executive.
Here's the key paragraph:
[Diamond] had infused the bank with American-style bravado, attaching the Barclays’ brand to the public bicycle rental system in London and the home of the Brooklyn Nets basketball team. (The bank will drop its sponsorship of the London bike program next year and is evaluating its other sponsorships.)
Promotion in U.S. needed?

Reuters noted:
Barclays' investment bank will concentrate on its core markets of the United States and the UK and the top 1,000 clients who generated more than three quarters of revenue last year.
Is that enough to keep a high-profile presence in Brooklyn? Unclear. 

Barclays has no street-level retail banking operation in the United States, though it does offer online accounts and credit cards.

Barclays sponsorships

Barclays has a significant number of sponsorships, including Sports, Entertainment, Arts & Culture, and Travel. Two categories are shown in screenshots below.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

No, security guards can't ban photos. Questions remain about visibility of ID/sticker system.

The bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Community Update meeting June 14, held at 55 Hanson Place, addressed multiple issues, including delays in the project, a new detente with project neighbors,concerns about traffic congestion, upcoming sewer work and demolitions, and an explanation of how high winds caused debris to fly off the under-construction 38 Sixth Avenue building. I'll have more coverage.
Security issues came up several times at the meeting.
Wayne Bailey, a resident who regularly takes photos and videos (that I often use) of construction/operations issues that impact residents, asked representatives of Tishman Construction if the security guard at the sites they're building works for them.
After Tishman Senior VP Eric Reid said yes, Bailey asked why a guard told him not to shoot video of the site, even though he was on a public street.

"I will address it with principals for that security firm," Reid said.
Forest City Ratner executive Ashley Cotton, the …

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming + FAQ (post-dated pinned post)

This graphic, posted in February 2018, is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. Note the unbuilt B1 and the proposed--but not yet approved--shift in bulk to the unbuilt Site 5.

The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change. The project is already well behind that tentative timetable.

How many people are expected?

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park has a projected 6,430 apartments housing 2.1 persons per unit (as per Chapter 4 of the 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement), which would mean 13,503 new residents, with 1,890 among them in low-income affordable rentals, and 2,835 in moderate- and middle-income affordable rentals.

That leaves 8,778 people in market-rate rentals and condos, though let's call it 8,358 after subtracting 420 who may live in 200 promised below-market condos. So that's 5,145 in below-market units, though many of them won…

The passing of David Sheets, Dean Street renter, former Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality

David Sheets, longtime Dean Street renter, Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality, died 1/17/18 in HCA Greenview Hospital in Bowling Green, KY. He was 56.

There are obituary notices in the Bowling Green Daily News and the Wichita Eagle, which state:
He was born in Wichita, KS where he attended public Schools and Wichita State University. He lived for many years in Brooklyn, NY, and was employed as a legal assistant. David's hobby was cartography and had an avid interest in Mass Transit Systems of the world. David was predeceased by his father, Kenneth E. Sheets. He is survived by his mother, Wilma Smith, step-brother, Billy Ray Smith and his wife, Jane all of Bowling Green; step-sister, Ellen Smith Alexander and her husband, Jerry of Bella Vista, AR; several cousins and step-nieces and step-nephews also survive. Memorial Services will be on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 1:00 pm with visitation from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm Monday at Johnson-Vaughn-Phe…

Some skepticism on Belmont hockey deal: lease value seems far below Aqueduct racino; unclear (but large?) cost for LIRR service

As I wrote for The Bridge 12/20/1, The Islanders Say Bye to Brooklyn, But Where Next?, the press conference announcing a new arena at Belmont Park for the New York Islanders was "long on pomp... but short on specifics."

Notably, a lease valued at $40 million "upfront to lease up to 43 acres over 49 years... seems like a good deal on rent for the state-controlled property." Also, the Long Island Rail Road will expand service to Belmont.

That indicates public support for an arena widely described as "privately financed," but how much? We don't know yet, but some more details--or at least questions--have emerged.

An Aqueduct comparable?

Well, we don't know what the other bid was, and there aren't exactly parcels that large offering direct comparables.

But consider: Genting New York LLC in September 2010 was granted a franchise to operate a video lottery terminal under a 30 year lease on 67 acres at Aqueduct Park (as noted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo).

As…

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…