Golden 1 Inks $120 Million Naming Rights Deal
The $9.1 billion Golden 1 Credit Union in Sacramento boasted June 16 that it became the first cooperative in the nation to sign a naming rights deal for a major league professional sports venue that will reportedly cost $120 million over 20 years.
California's second largest cooperative by assets acquired the naming rights for a $477 million arena, the home of the NBA's Sacramento Kings, which will be named Golden 1 Center and is scheduled to open October 2016.
Reaction to the deal was mixed, based on comments posted on Golden 1's Facebook Page. The naming rights announcement received more than 320 likes as of the morning of June 17. However, while some members praised the deal, others denounced it.
The naming rights agreement is reportedly worth $120 million over 20 years with an average annual value of $6 million, making it one of the largest naming rights deals for a single-tenant NBA venue, reported Sports Business Daily.
During a June 16 press conference, Donna Bland, president/CEO of Golden 1 and Sacramento Kings executive, would not confirm the dollar amount of the deal, according to The Sacramento Bee.
In its prepared statement, the credit union said the naming rights deal represents a momentous new chapter in Sacramento's history with a two-decade partnership that will support the city's economic and cultural renaissance.
“Golden 1 Center demonstrates our continued commitment and investment in the people and future of Sacramento,” Bland said in a prepared statement.
But some members who commented on Facebook argued it was a bad decision, a waste of money and an outrageous use of members’ funds.
“I find this to be an outrageous use of members’ funds,” Golden 1 member Suzanne Royal Jumper, wrote. “Please put all (the) spare money into member services including employee training.”
La Barker, who has been a member since 1997, wrote she will be looking for a new credit union.
“This is a BAD decision for members,” Barker wrote. “CU's are essentially member owned. This is a betrayal of ALL GICU members because it is an extreme waste of scarce resources.”
Nevertheless, other members, and some who indicated they were Golden 1 employees, wrote positive comments about the naming rights announcement, describing it as awesome, super nice and cool.
“I’m proud to work and be a member of such a good company,” Melinda DeBoer wrote on the credit union's Facebook page.
As part of the naming rights deal, Golden 1 said it plans to open a 4,000-square-foot flagship branch in the arena.
The California cooperative also said the deal would offer its members access to venue tours, fast pass line access at concession stands, advanced ticket purchases and discounts on merchandise and games.