A rendering shows the new name for the San Francisco Giants’ ballpark, known as AT&T Park since 2006. (Courtesy San Francisco Giants)
One of Major League Baseball’s crown jewels has a new name: Oracle Park. The San Francisco Giants are expected today to announce a 20-year naming-rights agreement with the Bay Area software technology firm for their 19-year-old facility.
Financial terms were not disclosed. Initial reports speculated that the total value of the deal was $200 million, but some sports marketing consultants say it could run as much as $400 million, based on the $20 million a year the Giants were asking for and how quickly they came to terms with Oracle, an existing team sponsor.
Oracle replaces AT&T, which has had its name on the waterfront facility since 2006. It’s the fourth name for the stadium in less than 20 years, thanks to mergers and acquisitions in the telecommunications industry. The ballpark opened in 2000 as Pacific Bell Park before becoming SBC Park in 2003 and, three years later, AT&T Park.
The deal came together just a few months after AT&T told the Giants last fall that it would not renew its agreement, set to expire after the 2019 season, according to local reports. Giants CEO Larry Baer said in published reports that it’s a top-tier deal on par with other big-league stadiums in major markets.
“They just took it to market looking for a deal in the mid-20s in year one, and given the speed (with which it was completed), I’d have to assume they got close to their target,” one source said. “The Giants are notoriously aggressive. I think they got what they wanted.”
But a second source cited Oracle’s reputation for being conservative in its spending on sports sponsorships and said the Giants’ deal is probably valued at $9 million to $11 million annually.
In 2006, the firm signed a 10-year, $30 million deal for naming rights to Oracle Arena, the home of the Golden State Warriors. The arena opened in 1966 and went four decades without a corporate title before Oracle stepped up to the plate to brand the building, the oldest in the NBA. Oracle got a relative bargain considering the Warriors have won three NBA titles over the past four seasons.
The Oracle Arena name goes away after the Warriors move to Chase Center, their new arena in San Francisco, later this year. In 2016, Oracle extended its agreement with an escape clause that kicks in after the Warriors move, said Rob Yowell, president of Gemini Sports Marketing, the agency that worked on the arena deal.
Yowell tweeted, “Let’s hope @oracle brings some of the same magic as it did for the arena! Been a good run!”
Across the bay, AT&T fared pretty well over the course of its 12-year deal in San Francisco. During that period, the Giants won World Series championships in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
Elsewhere, the telecommunications firm has naming rights for AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, and Texas Tech University’s Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock.