Orlando City is set to open up its 2017 MLS season in a brand new stadium against 2015 expansion foes New York City FC. The stadium has already sold out and has received praised by everybody that has stepped foot inside it. But there is one big problem — no company currently has naming rights for the soccer specific stadium, which means nobody has yet given loads of money to our club.
The front office has given it a place holder name of Orlando City Stadium, and the Lions have stated they are working hard towards finding a naming rights deal, but need to make sure that they do not make any mistakes in the process.
“The timeline remains the same: whenever it’s right. These are long-term partnerships, minimum 10-15 years. Could be done tomorrow, could be done in a few weeks. This is not something we’re going to rush into.
“We continue to be in discussion with people and on the phone every day with brands looking at us...value is there for the right partner,” Rob Parker, Orlando City’s vice president of corporate partnerships said.
The soccer-specific stadium will be groundbreaking when Orlando City debuts on March 5. The new stadium is the first safe standing stadium in MLS, and The Wall is bound to help Orlando City win points on its own.
It is only fair that a stadium of this caliber has a suitable name. Below are the top five companies that should make their mark and have the stadium named after them. Make sure to let us know your favorite in the comment section, or add one of your own!
5. Walt Disney Stadium
Disney is always in the running when Orlando City sponsors are being talked about. Disney’s Wide World of Sports was briefly the home of the Lions, and Disney could return to being the club’s hosts. Not my personal favorite, but talks with Disney are bound to be happening.
4. Coca-Cola Stadium
The big-name soda company is always looking for more ways to expand its marketing reach and what is better than having your name on the most innovative soccer-specific stadium in North America? Coca-Cola is not only already a partner of Orlando City, but it is also a sponsor of MLS. Since 2013, Coke has aggressively gained more popularity in MLS each year and this would just be another step up for the brand.
3. Chick-fil-A Bowl
Chick-fil-A is pretty far fetched, but for sake of arguments let’s imagine that it is a perfect world. Orlando City plays a large amount of their games on Sunday. The Chick-fil-A Bowl of course serves food from Chick-fil-A. Put one and one together and what do you get? Chick-fil-A on Sundays! The stadium will sell itself, and from a marketing standpoint this is a goldmine.
2. Heineken Hall
Heineken Hall, Heineken Stadium, Heineken Bowl. The name is a work in progress, but a beer sponsor would be pretty remarkable and Heineken is another one of Orlando City’s founding partners. Heineken cost just $3 at the Orlando City Fan Forum a week ago, and the Lions will break beer sales records if that were to continue at the new stadium.
1. Publix Park
Yet another founding partner, Publix is the runaway favorite here, although what to actually call it is up for discussion (PubSub Center?). Let’s face it, stadium food is typically disgusting and overpriced. Imagine if instead of cheap, overcooked burgers there were Pub subs. Then, imagine the deals Publix will make. Every time Orlando City wins and you get 10% off? This is dream stuff right here, and let’s hope that the front office makes it come true!
BONUS. The Mane Land
Okay, yes, this will not happen and yes I am just a little bit biased here but that is why it is just as a bonus. Even so, our very own Michael Citro did say, “If I won the Powerball I'd buy naming rights for The Mane Land.” Currently the PowerBall’s jackpot is only $40 million, but Mega Millions’ jackpot is up to $64 million. For The Mane Land’s sake here’s to hoping that he brings home the Benjamins!