The Los Angeles Clippers and Intuit have entered into a 23-year naming rights agreement whereby the Clippers have agreed to name their new $1.8 billion arena in Inglewood, California, the Intuit Dome. The arena is currently under construction just south of the new SoFi Stadium and the Hollywood Park development. It is scheduled to open in 2024.
According to the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer, the Clippers wanted a naming-rights partner who could match their passion for technology and the pursuit of innovation, and they seem to have found exactly that in Intuit, makers of financial software like QuickBooks and TurboTax. As part of the agreement, Intuit also committed $1 million to underserved schools in the Los Angeles area to help the “next generation of students to learn about finances and entrepreneurship.” Intuit also agreed to provide taxpayer assistance to qualifying families and to host workshops for entrepreneurs and small business owners with a particular emphasis on minority- and women-owned businesses. While this information isn’t exactly IP-related, I think it’s worth mentioning for two reasons: (1) its inclusion in the deal is admirable; and (2) it shows how IP-related deals can be used to further public interests.
The financial details of the naming-rights deal have not been disclosed, but the Clippers did say that they had received “quite a few pitches and quite a few offers.” The deal was reached in time to allow the Clippers to reach their goal of having a naming-rights deal done before the groundbreaking event last week.
This is the latest naming-rights deal for a major sports venue, and it reiterates that fintech is one of the most prevalent industries involved in the sponsorship and naming-rights deals. In fact, one only has to look across the way from Intuit Dome to see another shiny example in the form of the breathtaking SoFi Stadium. And given the rise of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, this trend is likely to continue. When it does, we’ll be here to report it, and maybe to say that I told you so.