Kabam in record naming rights deal for California Memorial Stadium

Mobile gaming company Kabam has sealed a 15-year naming rights agreement for the University of California, Berkeley’s California Memorial Stadium.

The sponsorship was brokered by sports advisory firm Premier Partnerships and is valued at $18m (€13.2m). With an annual value of $1.2m, the university said it is the largest field naming rights deal in collegiate sports. At the renamed Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium, the San Francisco-based company will benefit from branding on both 25-yard lines and 50-yard line signage above the California Golden Bears bench.

On both its 1923 opening and 2012 re-opening, California Memorial Stadium was dedicated to fallen war veterans and, as part of the deal, the new Kabam Veteran Program will provide 500 tickets for US Armed Service Veterans and their families annually from next autumn.

Kabam, which was founded in 2006 by several University of California graduates, plans to create an interactive gaming zone for fans at the stadium. The sponsorship has additional elements relating to the university, including scholarship and internship programmes, speaking engagements and partnerships on campus relating to innovation and technology.

Naming rights to the field is one element of a broad financing plan for both California Memorial Stadium and the adjacent Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance. Other aspects of the model include proceeds from the seat sales in the Endowment Seating Program, stadium lease and rental income, investment returns and facilities for both a Berkeley Haas School of Business Innovation Lab and a recreational sports fitness facility inside the stadium. Alongside the Kabam sponsorship, these revenue streams are enabling Cal Athletics to meet its financial obligations following the renovation of California Memorial Stadium, which cost in the region of $321m.