Walmart has agreed a marketing partnership with sports entertainment facility promoter Oak View Group.
Under the deal, the retail multinational will receive a major branding presence at the 22 major North American sports arenas signed up to Oak View and also serve as the ‘official big box retailer’ of each facility.
Citing a number of sources with knowledge of the deal, SportsBusiness Journal reports that the agreement will run for three years and is worth more than $40m (€36.8m/£31.9m).
Oak View was founded by Tim Leiweke, former chief executive of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), and Irving Azoff in late 2015 to boost event and sponsorship revenue for sports facilities.
The partnership marks Walmart’s first venture into sports marketing and will be based around the new ‘Walmart Community Playmakers’ programme, which will honour local residents for their work in education, the environment and fighting hunger.
Dan Griffis, co-owner of Oak View Group, said: “This is the first step for Wal-Mart into this space. They liked the national platform with buildings in the top 25 [markets]. There is one contract and it provides economies of scale.”
The deal includes major NBA and NHL venues such as the United Center in Chicago, home to the Bulls and Blackhawks, Madison Square Garden and the Philips Arena in Atlanta. It is estimated that more than 70 million people visit Oak View properties each year.