There is news coming out of Bloomberg Business that could have huge ramifications for UCLA and the Athletic Department. As part of the 10-year, $144 million mulitmedia rights contract extension with WME/IMG which was announced yesterday, the affiliated naming rights for Pauley Pavilion are up for sale.
The Bloomberg article states:
As part of a 10-year, $144 million extension of the multimedia rights partnership between the university and WME/IMG, the sports talent agency will look for what’s called an affiliated naming-rights partner for the arena, according to people with direct knowledge of the deal. That means Pauley Pavilion will still be part of the facility’s official name. (Think: Big Company Arena at Pauley Pavilion.)
Essentially, the deal allows WME/IMG to sell the affiliated naming rights to Pauley for sale, subject to the approval of UCLA Athletics. Sources inside the Athletic Department who declined to be identified confirmed to Bruins Nation that the entirety of the money UCLA will be paid for the affiliated naming rights is already included in the WME/IMG contract.
So, what does this mean exactly?
Well, it means that UCLA has already maxed out how much money the Athletics Department will receive from the deal. If a company buys the naming rights for $3 million per year for 10 years, UCLA doesn't see any more or any less than they are scheduled to receive under the WME/IMG contract. If a company buys the naming rights for $10 million per year, it's the same thing. According to our sources, the Athletic Department doesn't receive any more money if the final approved company pays more than a pre-set amount.
Our sources also indicated that the additional money from WME/IMG will be used, first and foremost, to cover Athletic Department expenses and it was specifically suggested that the biggest "new" expense the Athletic Department has is covering the cost of attendance for student-athletes instead of just tuition.
Of course, the devil is in the details and all of the details are not known at this point because the contract has not yet been released. When the contract is finally released, we will publish it.
Now, keeping in mind that these are affiliated naming rights which means that Pauley Pavilion will still be in the name, what are your thoughts about this news?
Does it matter to you if the official name becomes "State Farm Pauley Pavilion"?
Of course, another implication for this is that, without this deal, it's very likely that ticket prices could rise to unaffordable levels. Recently, the Bruin Fan Alliance conducted a survey asking members what needs to be done to encourage more people to go to games at Pauley. While many of us may feel that the best answer to that question is replacing the Men's Basketball coach with someone we can all be proud of, one of the most common responses had to do with ticket prices. If this deal helps keep ticket prices lower, does that affect your opinion?
Sound off in the comments below.