BOSTON -- The owner of FleetCenter is offering egomaniacs a
shot at fleeting fame: a chance to buy personal naming rights to
the sports arena for just a single day.
The rotating, day-to-day opportunity will be offered through an
eBay auction while the arena's owners continue seeking a long-term
naming rights deal to replace the FleetCenter name, now rendered
obsolete by Bank of America's $48 billion acquisition last year of
the former FleetBoston Financial Corp.
Bidding in the online auction was expected to start at $25, with
proceeds from the 24-hour naming rights deals to go to a charity
supported by the arena's owner, Delaware North Cos.
As an example, Richard Krezwick, president and chief executive
of Delaware North, offered his own suggestion: The Rollie Krezwick
Center, in honor of the executive's dog, a wheaten terrier.
"He's a big sports fan," Krezwick said. "He watches hockey
Bidders will not be required to include "Center" in the
building name, and the arena will approve all names provided
they're "rated G," Krezwick said.
Winning bidders won't get to change the arena's large exterior
signs, but will be able to see their chosen names on the
FleetCenter's Web site, its JumboTron video screen, and a message
for callers to the automated phone system, which will say "Thank
you for calling the 'YourCenter.' "
They also will get four luxury seat tickets to the day's game or
show, a framed photo collage and a certificate, and a "special
surprise gift package."
Aspiring bidders can log onto the FleetCenter's Web site,
www.fleetcenter.com, or eBay. Bidding was to begin Thursday.
An assortment of sports enthusiasts, publicity hounds and others
are already latching onto the idea.
FleetCenter executives have been negotiating with a handful of
sponsors to buy single-day deals before the 24-hour naming rights
go to eBay bidders starting Feb. 16. Local Fox television station
WXFT station and a Chicago-based sports marketing publication are
among the initial potential sponsors.
The publisher of the sports publication, Dan Migala, will pay
$500 to rename the building the MigalaReportCenter.
"We just bought naming rights for a stadium," Migala boasted.
"We're big-time now."
Marketing specialists have estimated the value of FleetCenter's
naming rights at more than $4 million a year, or nearly $11,000 per
Bank of America and FleetCenter last month announced an
agreement allowing the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank to give up the
arena naming rights it inherited with the acquisition of
Krezwick said his company hopes to identify 50 to 100 companies
that might be interested in securing long-term naming rights.