What Are Naming Rights Deals In Major League Baseball Really Worth?

By Kristi Dosh contributor to Forbes.com–What’s in a name? A considerable amount of marketing dollars and media exposure if you’re one of the 18 Major League Baseball parks with a naming rights deal.

New research from Joyce Julius & Associates shows corporations with naming rights in MLB averaged $12.3 million in exposure in just the first six weeks of the season (March 28 – May 8, 2019). Considering the average naming rights deal is costing those corporations $5.2 million annually, it looks like pretty good bang for the buck.

Average media mentions during the period totaled 7,888 for stadiums with a naming rights partner. Miller Park in Milwaukee lead the pack at 15,396 total media mentions.

Miller Park is the first of the current naming rights deal set to expire, which may also be the reason it led in mentions. Ahead of the expiration in 2020, the Brewers announced American Family Insurance as the new naming rights partner, replacing Miller after 20 years. The deal is reportedly for 15 years, but other terms have not been disclosed…

…On the surface, the research from Joyce Julius & Associates seems to suggest stadiums without naming rights partners receive more media coverage. For the 10 stadiums without naming rights, an average of 13, 522 stories appeared during the period, worth an estimated $21.8 million. However, four of those stadiums push the average with more than 20,000 mentions each: Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Dodger Stadium and Yankee Stadium. Without going into factors like how many home games have been held in each stadium this season and the records of the respective teams, it’s not difficult to ascertain why these four dominate the news media given they’re all historic brands located in major markets…