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Post: owner of Nets/arena operating company will renegotiate Barclays Center naming rights, uniform patch, Geico entrance (Tsai: not "looking to change" arena name)

Last Friday I speculated, based on the fact that annual naming rights to the new suburban USB Arena and other venues significantly exceed the $10 million paid for the Barclays Center, the Brooklyn arena naming deal might get reopened, leading to a renaming (and of the transit hub, too).

Well, yesterday, in an article with the original URL indicating "Barclays Center expected to get new name," the New York Post reported "Brooklyn Nets seeking new uniform sponsor amid Joe Tsai’s push."

The lead of the article stated, "The Brooklyn Nets are riding their newfound fame to a slew of lucrative sponsorship deals that could culminate in the renaming of the Barclays Center, The Post has learned," 

And while the Post could not a comment from either the Nets nor sponsor Barclays, after the article was published, Joe Tsai, owner of the team and the arena operating company, tweeted, "BSE Global has a great relationship with Barclays. Neither side is looking to change the name of our iconic building."

Well, maybe so, or maybe he can't say anything until a deal is ready. The phrase "looking to change" leaves some wiggle room.

After all, there's compelling reason that the naming rights are undervalued, and the Post quoted "sources" as saying there's a ten-year opt-out clause, while noting that Barclays' original justification--the expansion of its retail banking business--has evaporated.

Other revenue options

The Post reported that other revenue options are up for renewal, and replacement: the uniform patch, currently sponsored by Motorola, and the arena's main entrance, currently sponsored by Geico. The patch rights could go for $13 million a year, more than the arena sponsorship.

(The Post, like others, inaccurately reported that the initial naming rights were $20 million a year, totaling $400 million over the 20-year deal, rather than $15 million a year, totaling $300 million--which was later cut to $10 million for the arena.)

The Post noted that Tsai's purchase of "the Nets and Barclays Center"--actually, the arena operating company--was based in part on the notion he could renegotiate naming rights, and outside experts believe that the team's star power and profile justify new deals.

NetsDaily pointed out that, "when the naming rights to the season ticket holders lounge went out for bid two years ago, Qatar Airways paid BSE multiple times what Calvin Klein had."

So it's all negotiable, isn't it?

Of course none of this discussion about an arena that is technically owned by the public--to enable tax-exempt financing--regards any potential revenue flow to the public, as I discussed in my previous article. The upside is all private.

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