The home of NBA basketball franchise the Miami Heat has a new identity after Miami-Dade County signed off on a 17-year naming rights partnership with local software company Kaseya.
The contract for what will now be known as the Kaseya Center is worth $117.37m (£94m/€107.2m) and was approved by Miami-Dade County commissioners yesterday (Tuesday). The County owns the arena and will receive the majority of the revenue through the deal, with the Heat taking $2m annually.
In tandem with the naming rights, Kaseya, which is headquartered in Miami, has been named the official IT solutions partner of the Heat. The Miami headquarters of Kaseya is home to over 900 employees and the company is committed to investing significantly over the next several years to increase its employee base in the area with an addition of more than 3,000 full-time positions.
In addition to its naming rights, Kaseya will enjoy prominent in-arena signage, hospitality, gameday features, digital content, community engagements, entitlement of the long-standing veterans initiative, Home Strong, and more. Kaseya is currently the presenting sponsor of the Heat’s Bounce Back from Cancer initiative, which has raised $6.4m since 2019 for cancer research.
“As one of the most iconic venues in the world, we could not be more excited to officially rename the arena as the Kaseya Center and partner with the Miami Heat,” said Kaseya CEO, Fred Voccola.
“Miami is our home, and having Kaseya showcased globally as synonymous with Miami is something we’re very proud of, and will provide significant value to our customers, employees, and the community.
“The Miami Heat are widely recognised as a championship-level organisation that has attained the highest levels of success, both on the court and in the community. As Kaseya has grown into the global leader in IT and security management software, we’re honoured to partner with an iconic franchise that mirrors our own passion to achieve great things.”
Kaseya was said to be close to a deal last month, and yesterday’s announcement formally concludes the saga surrounding the arena’s former naming rights partner. The venue had been known as the Miami-Dade Arena after an agreement with cryptocurrency firm FTX was terminated.
FTX acquired the naming rights to the arena in April 2021 in a deal worth a reported $135m over 19 years. This was one of a number of significant sports sponsorship deals FTX entered into, but the agreement folded after the firm filed for bankruptcy. The Heat arena deal officially ended in January after a federal bankruptcy court terminated the agreement.
The Heat and Miami-Dade County announced in November that the deal with FTX would end. FTX’s collapse came after rival cryptocurrency exchange Binance walked away from a deal to acquire the company.
Eric Woolworth, president of the Heat Group’s business operations, said: “The collapse of our previous partner caught everyone by surprise but, in conjunction with Miami-Dade County, we worked efficiently and incredibly quickly to fill our naming rights vacancy with Kaseya—a local, dynamic and growing company creating job opportunities for South Floridians.
“Kaseya is a perfect fit and we are incredibly proud to join forces with them. We are also gratified to play our part in keeping the County’s ‘Peace and Prosperity Plan’ in place. This deal wouldn’t have happened so swiftly but for the unprecedented teamwork and cooperation with Miami-Dade County.”
The Peace and Prosperity Plan was previously part of FTX’s agreement, with Miami-Dade County Mayor, Daniella Levine Cava, adding: “We are proud to close this deal with a locally based company for the first time in the history of the arena.
“Since Kaseya relocated its headquarters to Miami, it has demonstrated a real commitment to invest in our economy and our local talent by opening the door to the jobs of the future. This deal will not only allow us to continue investing in critical crime prevention programs, it will also strengthen our brand as a global, diverse and future-ready community.”
Following its short spell as FTX Arena, the venue had previously been known as AmericanAirlines Arena since it opened in December 1999. The airline announced in 2019 that it would not be extending its $2m per year deal once it ended in 2020.