SportsBusiness Journal is reporting that Fiserv has agreed to pay $120 million over 20 years for the naming rights to the Milwaukee Bucks’ new downtown stadium, despite VP of Corporate Communications Britt Zarling defiantly saying “we are not the naming rights sponsor.” The Bucks had initially passed on the offer, seeking between $7 million – $10 million annually, but chose to reconsider after no other serious bids arose. It’s unclear what the 17,500-seat building – currently referred to as the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center – will be called; Fiserv Arena and Fiserv Center are both under consideration.
Howie Long-Short: When we spoke to Bucks President Peter Feigin back in late March, he said the team wanted a sponsor that would be able to expand its international footprint. Fiserv has more than 12,000 clients in 80 countries, so the team accomplished its goal on that front.
As for Fiserv, the company is a component of the S&P 500 (and NASDAQ 100) and trades under the symbol FISV. FISV posted “solid financial results” (adjusted EPS +23% YoY to $.76) in Q1 ’18. Sales increased 12% YoY and the company generated $470 million in proceeds from the sale of two businesses (55% of Lending Solutions business, MyVoucherCodes). The company also returned $398 million to shareholders in the form of share repurchases during the most recent quarter. FISV shares are up 21.5% over the last 12 months, closing at $76.06 on Wednesday.
Fan Marino: BMO Harris is believed to be paying roughly $1 million annually for the naming rights to Milwaukee’s existing building, so the new naming rights deal should add +/- $5 million annually to the team’s bottom line. Their new local television pact (with Fox Sports Wisconsin) – worth more than $200 million over 7 years – will also boost team coffers. The expiring contract paid the team +/- $20 million this past season. The new deal starts at $26 million in 2018-2019, rises 4% annually and averages nearly $30 million/year. It must be noted that in 2017-2018 the Bucks posted their highest local TV ratings in 12 years.
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