KFC Yum! Center Takes Stadium Naming-Rights Deals to Ridiculous New Heights

Categories: Business,Cuisine,Sports            4 Comments     

The recently opened KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville, Kentucky sounds like an excellent place to grab some fried chicken, maybe even a Doublicious sandwich with its Hawaiian bread bun if you’re feeling particularly adventurous. The name conjures up images of some sort of fast-food fantasy paradise. Oh, never mind, it’s the University of Louisville’s new basketball arena…

The $238 million building, opened in October 2010, is the fifth largest of its kind in the United States. It has a high tech video and scoreboard system featuring impressive LED displays by the Daktronics company out of Brookings, South Dakota.

And thanks to a $13.5 million naming-rights deal with the fast food giant Yum! Brands, its attractions now include the fine foods of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.

Corporations buy naming rights for this type of large arena all the time, but this one really stands out to the Tickle City Award Committee, which has already covered Yum! Brands in previous posts about Taco Bell and A&W.

For one, it not only contains a recognizable brand name (KFC) but also a word which is usually used as an interjection (yum). It also has an exclamation point. Will announcers be required to put extra emphasis on Yum! when they are mentioning the stadium’s name in their broadcasts? (Dick Vitale’s characteristic rising and falling intonation while saying this name would be especially humorous.)

In order to acquire naming rights for a stadium or arena, different companies will place bids and the biggest offer usually takes it. The contracts range from 3 to 20 years with professional stadiums typically offering longer terms.

The KFC Yum! Center proudly touts more food concession points than any other college basketball arena in the country. Die-hard basketball fans will have to be polled as to whether they consider this one of the most important features for their team’s arena.

Louisville just beat the number 18 ranked Butler Bulldogs 88-73 in the stadium’s inaugural game. Perhaps it was a pregame snack of Pizza Hut pizza and Taco Bell burritos that sparked the Louisville players.

KFC Yum! Center, you are tickle city!

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