Oracle set for naming rights to Giants’ AT&T Park

Major League Baseball team the San Francisco Giants has signed a 20-year deal with Oracle for the US technology company to take on naming rights to its home stadium.

Oracle will replace telco AT&T as the ballpark’s sponsor, with the deal set to be formally announced later today (Thursday). As a result, the stadium’s name will change from AT&T Park to Oracle Park.

Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed but Giants president and chief executive Larry Baer told the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper that the deal is “very much in line with other recent naming-rights deals for top-tier facilities”.

According to the Chronicle, this could make the deal worth between $300m (£235m/€260m) and $350m. The Bloomberg news agency, citing sources familiar with the matter, said the deal would be worth more than $200m. The Giants only received about $100m from AT&T over the course of its 23-year agreement with the telco.

AT&T did have a deal in place with the Giants until the end of the 2019 season but the company opted to give the team chance to end the agreement a year early if it was able to find a replacement partner at short notice.

Bauer told the Chronicle: “The organisations know one another well. That’s the only way we were able to get a deal this quickly. It was hatched over the holidays. It’s an iconic park, and we kind of view it as a landmark.

“We said early on we want this park to age gracefully to the point we can feel like what Fenway might feel like in Boston, and Wrigley might feel in Chicago. Nobody knows this park, other than AT&T, better than Oracle.”

The deal further strengthens Oracle’s commercial ties with California sports teams, with the company also holding naming rights to Oracle Arena, home of NBA basketball team the Golden State Warriors. Oracle Arena will soon be replaced by Chase Center as the Warriors’ home, with the state-of-the-art facility scheduled to open in Mission Bay, San Francisco later this year.

Oracle chief executive Mark Hurd said the deal with the Giants was a logical move, adding that there was “no question” its experience of sponsoring the Warriors’ arena influenced the decision.

“There’s been a lot of trust built up between the two organisations over the years,” Hurd told the Chronicle. “We think there’s some really exciting things we can do with the park going forward, innovative things we can do to help both the fan experience and community.”

Baer added: “We really like the fact that Oracle is a local company. They’re not going anywhere. We’re not going anywhere. Having a Bay Area-based company with the naming rights was a consideration.”

Image: jcookfisher