Marlins end naming rights search with loanDepot deal

Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise the Miami Marlins have today (Wednesday) ended their long search for a stadium naming rights partner by agreeing a multi-year deal with California-based financial services company loanDepot.

Under the agreement, which also makes loanDepot the team’s official mortgage provider, Marlins Park will be renamed ‘loanDepot park’. Marlins Park opened in 2012, but the team’s former ownership and its current group had been unable to land a sponsor, until now.

The loanDepot deal leaves just eight MLB ballparks without naming rights attached to them – Dodger Stadium, Nationals Park, Yankee Stadium, Angel Stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Wrigley Field, Fenway Park and Kauffman Stadium.

As part of their new alliance, loanDepot will donate $50 (£36/€43) for every Marlins run scored during the regular season to expand youth baseball and softball opportunities through the Miami Marlins Foundation programming at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade.

Additionally, loanDepot will serve as the presenting sponsor of Salute & Serve Days. Every Monday at loanDepot park, active and retired military personnel, veterans, fire rescue personnel, members of the police department and healthcare professionals will receive two complimentary tickets to the game.

On Opening Day, when the Marlins welcome the Tampa Bay Rays tomorrow, all fans in attendance at loanDepot park will receive a Marlins schedule magnet and a commemorative game ticket, courtesy of loanDepot.

The loanDepot park branding transformation will take place over the coming months, with new signage integrated inside the ballpark throughout late spring and early summer. External ballpark signage is anticipated to be in place in time for the July All-Star Break.

“We’re excited to welcome fans back for Opening Day at loanDepot park,” said Marlins CEO Derek Jeter. “A partnership like this, with a nationally recognised brand excelling through innovation alongside a strong philanthropic commitment, is foundational to our ability to build sustainable success.

“With loanDepot as a part of our family, we have an ideal partner who shares our principles and values as well as our championship drive.”

For loanDepot, today’s deal marks the latest addition to its MLB connection. The company became the League’s official mortgage provider in January, before taking presenting sponsor rights to both of League Championship Series through 2025.

“This is a momentous day as we join the Miami Marlins in bringing our ‘Home Means Everything’ message to the South Florida community,” said loanDepot CEO and founder, Anthony Hsieh. “As the official mortgage provider of MLB and the Marlins, we are committed to delivering the dream of homeownership to Americans nationwide – and as the naming sponsor of loanDepot park, we are equally committed to bringing a world-class experience to Marlins fans.

“We have great confidence that this outstanding collaboration will enable our organisations to join forces in driving exciting innovations in entertainment and live sports events, and that it will result in lifelong memories for individuals and families for years to come.”

The Marlins deal comes with another major sponsorship agreement set to close for the Miami sports market. On Friday, Miami-Dade County Commission voted in favour of a deal that will see Miami Heat’s AmericanAirlines Arena renamed under a proposed new sponsorship agreement with the FTX cryptocurrency exchange.

The venue has been known as AmericanAirlines Arena since it opened in December 1999, with the agreement naming it FTX Arena representing the growing presence of cryptocurrency in the sports industry.

The contract will reportedly be worth $135m over a 19-year term, but has yet to be formally announced as it awaits approval from the NBA.

Image: loanDepot