Ball Corporation, a provider of sustainable aluminium packaging products, has acquired naming rights to Pepsi Center, home of the Denver Nuggets NBA basketball team and Colorado Avalanche NHL ice hockey franchise, as part of a wide-ranging deal with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE).

KSE has signed a global partnership with Ball Corporation that will also cover Emirates Stadium, home of English Premier League football club Arsenal, and SoFi Stadium, the new home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers NFL American football teams.

KSE chairman and chief executive Stan Kroenke owns the Nuggets, Rapids and Rams and is the majority shareholder of Arsenal. The multi-faceted partnership with Ball Corporation is designed to promote sustainability in sports and entertainment by strengthening in-venue aluminium recycling.

The newly-named Ball Arena, as well as SoFi Stadium and Emirates Stadium, will use aluminium beverage packaging solutions, with Ball and KSE to carry out local community programmes and increase awareness of the importance of aluminium recycling. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

John Hayes, chairman, president and chief executive of Ball Corporation, said: “This is an important moment in sports and entertainment, and we are proud to partner with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment to advance sustainability in venues by implementing real-world solutions to the packaging waste crisis.

“We are committed to making recycling an easy, everyday choice for consumers by providing them with infinitely recyclable aluminium cans, bottles and cups that can be used and back on a store shelf in just 60 days, and enhancing recycling infrastructure in venues. We look forward to continuing to work with KSE to bring about positive change for years to come.”

The deal will result in the rebranding of Pepsi Center, which had been sponsored by the soft drinks giant for the past 21 years. Pepsi will continue to serve as the official beverage sponsor of the newly-named Ball Arena.

Kroenke said: “It is with great pride that we introduce Ball Arena as the new home of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and (National Lacrosse League team) Colorado Mammoth. Our goal in selecting a long-term international venues partner was to find a Colorado-based company with global renown to grow side-by-side with our talented young teams.

“Ball Corporation is an ideal fit for that vision, an innovative leader that shares our commitment to our local community, to environmental sustainability and creating quality jobs in Colorado. We look forward to unveiling Ball Arena and welcoming our fans back home when it is time once again to celebrate live sports and entertainment events responsibly. We ask everyone to continue to stay safe and look after each other so that we can soon enjoy countless amazing memories at Ball Arena.”

Ball Corporation initially partnered with KSE in October 2019 to introduce “infinitely recyclable” aluminium cups for fans at Pepsi Center. “That opened the door to this incredible opportunity, that builds on the importance of aluminium packaging and recycling,” said Michael Ceilley, KSE senior vice-president of partnership marketing and media sales.

“Working together, we believe this partnership will be transformative and help redefine the way arenas and stadiums operate globally. We are also grateful for PepsiCo’s dedication to elevating the fan experience at our arena for over 21 years, and through ongoing official beverage partnerships with the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Mammoth and Ball Arena.”

Ball will serve as KSE’s official and exclusive sustainability partner at Ball Arena. The two parties will work together to transition to aluminium beverage packaging for 100 per cent of the venue’s concessions, with the goal of implementing a “closed loop system” by 2022. The partnership will include a comprehensive recycling and sustainability plan designed to strengthen Ball Arena’s collection, processing and reclamation.

Ball will work with Arsenal as its official sustainable aluminium beverage packaging partner. Ball will explore ways to support Arsenal in reducing its impact on the environment and assist with educational initiatives about the importance of recycling and other green practices.

Ball also becomes the official infinitely recyclable aluminium packaging partner of SoFi Stadium and the Rams. The state-of-the-art new 70,000-seat stadium will feature Ball’s recyclable aluminium cups for draft beer and cocktails, while the Rams will also use the cups at team training facilities, camps and on game days. Local sustainability awareness events will also be held.

Ball’s lightweight aluminium cup is also available at Hard Rock Stadium, home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, among other venues.

Image: Ball Corporation