One of Seattle’s better known institutions, T-Mobile, made its biggest splash yet with the announcement that the telecommunications has secured a 25-year, $87.5 million naming rights deal for the stadium of the MLB Seattle Mariners to now be known as T-Mobile Park.
The annual value comes to $3.5 million, which the Mariners indicate will go toward maintenance and capital improvements that the team and venue is obligated to. The deal is subject to approval by the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District.
“The Un-carrier is always shaking things up for the better, and this time we’re going BIG with the Seattle Mariners for all their fans,” said John Legere, T-Mobile CEO. “T-Mobile Park isn’t just some corporate-branded sponsorship to us … this is about supporting the community and our hometown Mariners in building a World Series-caliber team!”
“T-Mobile has a deep commitment to this community, a passion for customer service and a well-earned reputation as a leader in innovation. These are the qualities that make T-Mobile the right partner to name this iconic ballpark,” said John Stanton, Seattle Mariners Chairman and Managing Partner.
Mariners President and CEO Kevin Mather said, “Fans have come to expect a great experience at this ballpark and we have made a commitment to invest substantial Club revenues over the next 25-years to make sure that continues. This partnership with T-Mobile will help us meet that obligation so that fans will have a first-class experience at T-Mobile Park for decades to come.”
All fans can get early access to the ballpark on game days via the T-Mobile ‘Pen. This popular gathering place for fans spans from the bullpens behind Left Field to Center Field. Opening 30 minutes before all other gates, the T-Mobile ‘Pen gives fans the chance to watch Mariners batting practice and pitcher warm ups. And with this partnership, T-Mobile ‘Pen will now feature a variety of new perks including surprise giveaways and a live DJ on select game days, to go with the destination food and beverage offerings.
At the end of the new lease agreement, the total investment of Mariners revenues into the publicly owned ballpark since 1999 will add up to over $1 billion.
The process of incorporating the T-Mobile branding assets throughout the ballpark will take place over the coming months. Much of it is expected to be completed by Opening Day on March 28, 2019, when the Mariners meet the Boston Red Sox.
Signage will take on the magenta hue of T-Mobile, as will lighting around the ballpark and accent lighting in the roof trussing. Permits have been requested of the City of Seattle, and upon those approvals, fabrication will begin. Exterior signage is being targeted by Opening Day. Some internal branding could continue after. Some external lighting at the street level is planned for 2020.
In 2017 the Mariners announced that long-time partner Safeco Insurance would not be extending their naming rights deal past 2018 for the ballpark. That naming rights deal had been in place since 1998 and on the ballpark when it opened in July of 1999. Signage related to the name “Safeco Field” began coming down off the ballpark in November.
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