April 14th, 2008

Airport Naming Rights: Industry-First Partnership


Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) recently announced that it has awarded a management services agreement to the General Sports Companies, in partnership with McConnell Communications to: plan, design, promote, sell, negotiate and administer naming rights and sponsorship contracts on behalf of the Wayne County Airport Authority (WCAA).

In recent years, there has been a fundamental shift in how people, and thus corporate marketing departments, communicate and connect with each other and their target audiences. With advancements in wireless communications, digital technology, digital video recorders, the internet and mobile communications, companies are utilizing new, innovative and evolving marketing approaches and mediums to reach their customers. Naming rights, sponsorships and related marketing campaigns have also evolved, and are now an important part of the marketing mix for many corporations utilizing venues operated by professional sports leagues, governments, municipalities, public and private universities, and in recent years, even public golf courses.

General Sports, in partnership with McConnell Communications, will develop a comprehensive sponsorship and marketing opportunity program for Detroit Metro Airport that will feature naming rights sales and management for the Airport’s new state-of-the-art, 26-gate North Terminal complex, scheduled to open later this year. The unique agreement will allow Detroit Metro Airport the opportunity to pioneer new ground and create new channels within the growing and ever-changing landscape of corporate marketing.

“We are very excited about this new relationship with General Sports and McConnell Communications,” said Wayne County Airport Authority CEO Lester Robinson. “Selling naming rights for an airport terminal is an industry-first endeavor that will create new and innovative funding opportunities for the Airport in the future. In the end, this means better facilities, better service, and greater economic growth for our entire community.”

“The North Terminal naming rights platform was created by progressive thinking and will provide incredible exposure for the right partner,” said Chris Foy, President of General Sports Alliances, the sponsorship sales division of General Sports. In 2007, Detroit Metro Airport served nearly 36 million passengers, and ranks as the 11th busiest airport in North America. The airport ranked 2nd in North America in overall customer satisfaction, among large airports (J.D. Power and Associates, 2007), and finished among the top three airports in the world in international passenger satisfaction (Airports Council International 2008 Airport Service Quality Programme).


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