49ers reach stadium naming rights deal with Levi's

May 8, 2013 8:59:39 PM PDT
An iconic Bay Area company has scooped up the naming rights to the San Francisco 49ers new stadium in Santa Clara -- the 49ers and Levi Strauss & Co reached an agreement for a $220 million, 20-year naming rights deal.

49ers superstars, including Colin Kaepernick and Vernon Davis showed off their 501s at a rally Wednesday, signifying the team's new partnership with Levi Strauss.

Levi's, the oldest company in San Francisco, invented jeans for the 49er miners of the old Gold Rush era. The deal with today's 49ers football team is the joining of two local icons.

"I feel very confident Levi's will be here for a long time; we wanted to make sure the brand stayed the same, you don't want to see the name changing on the stadium," 49ers CEO Jed York said.

In the deal, Levi's is paying $220 million over 20 years to put its moniker on the facility under construction in Santa Clara, the highest ever paid for a stadium where one sports team will play. The negotiations could include a company store inside the stadium for the jeans maker and possibly ads featuring 49ers superstars.

Levi's posted $4.6 billion in net revenue in fiscal 2012 and the CEO says stockholders have endorsed the investment.

"They see the logical connections that home Bay Area connections carry through and they understand this is a marketing investment that we believe will build the brand in the future," Chip Bergh said.

Also on board are the mayors of San Francisco and Santa Clara. Jamie Matthews says the multi-million dollar agreement should be unanimously approved by the county's stadium authority Thursday.

"It's a huge amount that will help us pay down the cost of the stadium," Matthews said. "Remember, not one public cent is going into it, that's only possible because of arrangements like this."

But some are questioning why, in the heart of Silicon Valley, a high tech firm wasn't chosen.

But Golden Gate University consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow believes the connection between two San Francisco marquee brands is a draw, saying, "Consumers like a good story...more than just outright advertising or marketing, this could resonate with consumers".

Levi's Stadium should be ready to roll in 2014.


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