NHL Panthers Sign Rink Naming Rights Deal with Lexus

April 5, 2011

The Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League (NHL) have agreed a ground-breaking deal with car manufacturer Lexus that gives them naming rights of their ice rink, a first in the sport of ice hockey.

A multi-year deal was struck by the Miami-based team that sees the playing surface at the club’s BankAtlantic Center renamed the Lexus Rink. Reports suggest that the agreement is worth an upper-six-figure sum annually.

The Florida Panthers have already sold the four on-ice advertising positions permitted by the NHL to Bud Light, Dex Imaging, Ford and Gulfstream Park, meaning the deal does not encompass on-ice exposure for Lexus. However, it does grant them first disposal to buy on-ice space when it becomes available. A permanent sign hosting the Lexus Rink brand will be attached to the scoreboard.

Lexus is a long-term sponsor of the club, having been a founding partner and sponsor of the BankAtlantic Center’s suite and club level since 1998, and is also the official luxury vehicle of the Florida Panthers.

Michael Yormark, president and chief operating officer for Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, the Panthers’ parent company, commented: “This is their third renewal, and Lexus was looking for something a bit different, the ‘next big idea.’ They still have their branded parking lot deal for all events, but they challenged me to come up with something new. For us, it created new inventory that we haven’t taken advantage of in the past.”