Blazers Partner With Advisory Firm To Sell Rose Garden Naming Rights

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The Portland Trail Blazers are partnering with Premier Partnerships, a sports sales and advisory group, to target possible companies that would be interested in purchasing the naming rights for the Rose Garden.

Portland Trail Blazers president Chris McGowan announced Monday that his organization is partnering with Premier Partnerships, a sports sales and advisory group, to target possible companies that would be interested in purchasing the naming rights for the Rose Garden.

The press release announcing the move is below.

Here are a few quotes from McGowan given to Adam Bjaranson and Michael Holton on Monday's episode of Blazers Courtside.

What makes this different from past efforts?

Two things. This is a top priority for the organization. It's something that we need to figure out in a pretty timely fashion. We're going to put a lot of our resources into finding a naming rights partner. It's also different because we've partnered with a firm to help lead the way with us. I don't think that's been done in the past.

Why Premier Partnerships?

I like them because they just focus on naming rights and sponsorships, that's their bread and butter, so I thought they would be a good partner for the Trail Blazers, plus I've known them. Their personality style will work great with the Trail Blazers, because we're still going to be heavily involved, communicating with them on a daily basis. From a fit perspective, I thought they were good.

Will "Rose Garden" name remain intact?

That's a possibility but ultimately it's up to the partner that you go into a partnership with. Certainly we're aware that the fans are connected with that name in a big way. That's something we're going to take into consideration as we move into it. If it can be put in there, we'll do it. If not, we'll figure out a way to continue with the Rose Garden legacy in one form or fashion.

Timeline

That's a tough question. I like to get things done quickly but I'm not going to do a bad deal. The fact is we don't have a naming rights partner currently so anything we do going forward is going to be new revenue. It's not something I'm going to rush into. I want to find the right deal. Ideally, we have it done before the 2013-14 season.

Here's the press release.

Premier specializes in the development and execution of customized commercial sales strategies for top tier facilities, and are an industry leader in highly specialized naming rights sales. Their naming rights client portfolio has included properties from all of the major sports leagues, including some of the most visible sports facilities in the country. They have also been recognized as Sports Business Journal's Best in Property Consulting, Sales and Client Services.

"Finding a naming rights partner for the Rose Garden is one of our priorities entering the new calendar year. It's a critical partnership for us that will have a long-term impact on our franchise," said Trail Blazers President and CEO Chris McGowan. "Working with Premier will bolster our search process and extend our reach. We're confident that we will find a partner that the city of Portland and the Trail Blazers brand can proudly associate with."

Premier's naming rights successes for sports venues include the Oakland A's and Raiders' O.co Coliseum, the Philadelphia Union's PPL Park, San Diego State University's Viejas Arena and (former) Pizza Hut Park in Dallas, TX. Premier also secured the naming rights of Dolby Theatre (home of the Academy Awards) and TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly Grauman's Chinese Theatre).

"We're honored to join forces with the Portland Trail Blazers in their naming rights search," said Premier Partnerships CEO Randy Bernstein. "We will leave no stone unturned, both domestically and internationally, to find the best naming rights partner for the Rose Garden and the city of Portland."

Premier Partnerships is based in Los Angeles. The company's website is right here and includes a testimonial from NBA commissioner David Stern.

After building reputations as tremendous sports executives during a variety of high profile sports events and properties such as the 1984 Summer Olympics, the 1994 FIFA World Cup, 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, and Major League Soccer, Alan Rothenberg and Randy Bernstein saw a critical gap in the marketplace for executive-level sales representation for sports and entertainment properties. Together, they decided to found Premier in 2003 and have nurtured the company into an industry leader.

...

Stern: "Alan Rothenberg and Randy Bernstein have a proven track record in the sports and entertainment industry. The partnership has created one of the leading agencies in the industry."

McGowan completed his second round of layoffs on Friday.

The naming rights discussion was at the top of McGowan's agenda when he was named president and CEO of the Blazers in October. In November, he said that he hoped to have a naming rights partner in place within a year.

As a reminder...

Back in 2011, the Portland Timbers of the MLS sold naming rights to PGE Park to Klamath Falls-based Jeld-Wen, a manufacturer of windows and doors. The Timbers also sold jersey-naming rights to Alaska Airlines back in 2010.

Lists of large Oregon companies or companies that employ many people in the state can be found at OregonBusiness.com (here) and JobBankUSA (here).

Here's a list of companies that currently have naming rights to NBA arenas. The list is dominated by banks, airlines, telecommunications and energy companies.

  • Atlanta -- Philips
  • Boston -- TD Bank
  • Brooklyn -- Barclays
  • Charlotte -- Time Warner Cable
  • Chicago -- United
  • Cleveland -- Quicken Loans
  • Dallas -- American Airlines
  • Denver -- Pepsi
  • Golden State -- Oracle
  • Houston -- Toyota
  • Indiana -- Bankers Life
  • Los Angeles (Clippers and Lakers) -- Staples
  • Memphis -- FedEx
  • Miami -- American Airlines
  • Milwaukee -- BMO Harris (usually just called the Bradley Center but officially "BMO Harris Bradley Center")
  • Minnesota -- Target
  • New York -- MSG (Madison Square Garden Company is a subsidiary of Cablevision that owns the arena and runs the Knicks)
  • Oklahoma City -- Chesapeake Energy
  • Orlando -- Amway
  • Philadelphia -- Wells Fargo
  • Phoenix -- US Airways
  • Sacramento -- Sleep Train
  • San Antonio -- AT&T
  • Toronto -- Air Canada
  • Utah -- Energy Solutions
  • Washington -- Verizon

The Hornets play in New Orleans Arena. The Detroit Pistons play in the Palace at Auburn Hills.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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