Washington DC’s Verizon Center, home to the NBA basketball team the Washington Wizards and NHL ice hockey outfit the Washington Capitals, will now be known as the Capital One Arena, effective immediately.
Venue owner Monumental Sports and Entertainment (MSE) has signed a naming rights partnership with financial services company Capital One, with a new logo already released (see below).
New signage and branding will be installed during the fall season, but the official change occurred yesterday (Wednesday).
While the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, a source familiar with the arrangement confirmed to the Washington Post newspaper that it would be worth $100m (£77m/€85m) over 10 years.
The naming rights deal with Verizon was set to expire in 2018. The telecommunications company picked up rights in 2006.
Ted Leonsis, the current owner, said he has been searching for a more “team-friendly” deal and moved the 2018 date forward, as Capital One got involved. Capital One and MSE are both based in Washington DC.
“Capital One is one of the most influential local businesses in our region over the last two decades, so we couldn’t be more pleased to partner with another homegrown company to create more incredible memories for sports fans, music fans, families and friends all across our region,” said Leonsis, founder, majority owner and chief executive of MSE.
Capital One’s president of retail and direct banking, Kleber Santos, said: “As a top local employer and major consumer brand, Capital One has deep roots in Washington, D.C. and we are excited to strengthen our contributions to the sports and entertainment landscape in our own backyard.
“Monumental Sports and Entertainment shares our commitment to strengthening the economic and social well-being of the local community, and we are thrilled to partner with them on Capital One Arena. Our collaboration will be great for the D.C. community, the fans who come to support their teams, the talent and events at the arena, and exceptional for our customers who will benefit from our ability to offer access to unique opportunities and experiences at the arena that money can’t buy.”
In addition, MSE has also independently invested $40m in the Capital One Arena, which is one of the few privately owned arenas in the US. The company said it will use its investment to employ new technology.
Through its Monumental360 programme, MSE will use data to learn about its supporters’ preferences and better cater to their interests as the company hopes to improve the fan experience.
Image: Keith Allison