The length of Marvel’s naming-rights deal with Docklands Stadium will allow the cinematic entertainment brand to “evolve the customer experience over a long journey”, according to the Melbourne venue’s chief executive, Michael Green.
The eight-year deal struck just over a year ago by Walt Disney Company Australia will provide long-term security and planning opportunities for a company that has big plans to bring creativity to the commercial agreement.
As a starting point, the stadium, which has seven tenant teams, has become the home of a series of mini-attractions that put fans in close contact with the Marvel brand, from Thor’s Hammer and a Spider-Man climbing wall through to a Hulkbuster.
“Eight years is longer than normal, but it suited both parties,” Green (pictured) told TheStadiumBusiness.com. “They are really interested in having a step-change along the way and continuing to develop new experiences.
“The clubs are very much focused on fan engagement and this deal provides another layer of engagement with families.”
The agreement with Walt Disney Company Australia was sealed after Etihad informed the stadium’s operator, the Australian Football League, that the airline would not be renewing its partnership. An early severance package was agreed following negotiations, allowing Marvel Stadium to be unveiled in September 2018.
“With Etihad, the partnership had achieved its goals,” Green added.
“The teams who play at the stadium were not involved in the negotiations at all, but we had to identify an organisation that did not conflict with the tenants’ interests.
“We had four soft leads, with the other three being from mainstream sectors such as banking and cars.
“Our pitch to Marvel was to team up with one of the world’s busiest stadiums to create an immersive experience.”
The naming-rights deal has left the door ajar for future possibilities, such as the potential for Marvel Stadium to host film releases in front of thousands of viewers, whilst the venue has been linked as a likely future venue of the huge Comic-Con convention.
“I think it’s really opened the door to other organisations that might now consider naming rights – and not just traditional partners,” Green said.
“Their goal for the first 12 months is to roll out the interactive elements and then measure fandom and how it grows.”