October 3rd, 2012

Experts: Nationals Park naming rights soaring in value

By Ben Fischer
Washington Business Journal

The correlation between winning and revenue is self-evident for most of the Washington Nationals’ business operations. Ticket sales, merchandise sales and television advertising revenue all grow in tandem with wins.

An unsold asset — naming rights to Nationals Park — also looks much more valuable than it did six months ago, say sports marketing experts I spoke with about 12 hours after the Nats clinched their first-ever division title and Washington’s first trip to the playoffs since 1933.

“The business I am in is all about eyeballs, and it’s all about the heads those eyeballs are in,” said Dean Bonham, CEO of the French sports marketing firm Bonham/Willis & Associates, who said six months ago it was “a bit of a mystery” why the Nationals hadn’t sold naming rights yet. “Any time you can grab the attention of not only your local market, but the rest of the country, and do it without having to spend additional advertising, promotional and marketing dollars, it’s a huge step up.”

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