San Francisco 49ers Santa Clara Stadium Naming Rights Broker: Best, Worst Job Ever

The Santa Clara City Council is expected to vote tomorrow night to give the San Francisco 49ers exclusive rights to sell the naming rights of the planned $937 million stadium. The agreement would also give the 49ers the right to hire a broker to negotiate the naming rights deal. Any such broker would get approximately five to ten percent of the gross sale proceeds.

Naming rights deals vary greatly but the high end number is the reported $700 million deal with Farmers Insurance for the planned LA football stadium. The 49ers naming rights would not go for anywhere near that much because the Farmers deal is for a downtown LA stadium in a fairly money section of town. A Santa Clara stadium, while important for the 49ers, will not be the same kind of events draw as a downtown LA football stadium. Sorry city of Santa Clara, but that's just how it is.

For those thinking naming rights won't be a problem, just look at how long it's taking for the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants/Jets to get naming rights. Neither has a deal done in what are incredibly tough economic times. The Farmers Insurance deal was surprising given the times, but it was sort of a perfect storm given the location and how badly some folks want a Los Angeles football team. A broker trying to work a deal for the 49ers would have the benefit of being right around Silicon Valley, but the negative of a still tough economic environment.

The most amusing (or scary) comment in the article about the 49ers ptentially getting the right to sell naming rights was this comment by Acting Assistant City Manager Carol McCarthy. She said that while no specific dollar figure is set, it's likely "to be in the millions." I can say with some certainty that if the figure is not in the millions, this stadium may not get done.

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