Bangor Council approves contract with Front Row to market arena

By Andrew Neff, BDN Staff
Posted March 12, 2012, at 10:24 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Interested in having your name on the front of Bangor’s new arena and event center? Let the bidding begin.

The arena’s official grand opening may not come for another 17 months, but Front Row Marketing Services Regional Vice President Steve Rex wants potential corporate or individual sponsors to know that it’s open for business. Well, open for business when it comes to naming rights, sponsorship and marketing, and premium seating sales.

Bangor’s City Council unanimously approved a contract with Front Row, a division of Pennsylvania-based public facility management firm Global Spectrum, to provide those services for the new arena.

“The first thing we want to do is find a naming rights partner,” said Rex. “We haven’t had any feelers out yet, but I think the city has a list of potential entities that may have interest.”

So what does your name on the side of a major arena go for these days? It usually starts around six figures.

Bangor will get a sliding percentage of the rights fee, depending on the amount a company agrees upon to purchase naming rights for a 10-year period. Bangor will receive 95 percent of the fee if the amount is less than $1 million, 94 percent for an amount between $1 million and $1.5 million, 93 percent for an amount between $1.5 million and $2 million, and 92 percent for any amount over $2 million.

When it comes to naming rights, Rex said it’s more about identification and being seen as a collaborative part of something more than the publicity or advertising value.

“A lot of these deals for naming rights are local and regional players,” said Rex. “Even if they are national, they have a strong regional presence.”

The final fee would be paid over a 10-year period. For example, if a company pays $2 million for naming rights, Bangor would get $1,840,000 over 10 years and Front Row would get the remaining $160,000.

“They’ve done it, they know how to do it, and they know how to go out and get it,” said Mike Dyer, Bass Park Director. “And even more important in my mind is they also know how to keep someone happy for 10 years after they sign naming rights. That’s critical.”

Also, Bangor receives 87.5 percent of the money generated from the sale of premium seating if the total amount is less than $500,000. If more than that, Bangor gets 82.5 percent of the premium seating revenue.

“It’s not so much about promotion or publicity when it comes to seats,” said Rex. “A lot of times premium seating is used by businesses to entertain clients and other people.”

And finally, Front Row will try to find any possible way to generate sponsorship revenue in and outside the arena.

“Honestly, it’s all about signage, and that includes sponsorship opportunities of certain shows and certain sections of the building,” said Rex. “We’ll look to bring offers to the city and the city ultimately makes the final decision on whether they’ll take them.”

Front Row will have a staff in place on-site in Bangor by July, according to Rex.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/03/12/news/bangor/bangor-council-approves-contract-with-front-row-to-market-arena/ printed on September 21, 2014