Mortgage lender Guaranteed Rate has agreed a deal to take on naming rights to U.S. Cellular Field, the home ballpark of Major League Baseball franchise the Chicago White Sox.
The 13-year agreement becomes effective on November 1 and will see the stadium change its name to Guaranteed Rate Field. The team also holds the option to extend the deal for a further year until 2030.
The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority (ISFA), which owns and operates the ballpark, formally approved the name change yesterday (Wednesday).
Under the agreement, Guaranteed Rate will benefit from branding rights inside the stadium, as well as promotional and hospitality packages. The company also becomes the official mortgage and title company of the White Sox, with the two parties set to collaborate on a range of joint marketing initiatives.
“We are pleased to find, in Guaranteed Rate, a new naming rights partner founded in Chicago by Chicagoans, which shares our commitment to the city and to our fans,” Jerry Reinsdorf, chairman of the White Sox, said. “We view this partnership as an opportunity to connect a successful Chicago business with a historic baseball franchise.”
Guaranteed Rate replaces telecommunications company U.S. Cellular as the stadium’s naming rights partner. U.S. Cellular took on naming rights to the ballpark, which was hitherto known as Comiskey Park after founding owner Charles A. Comiskey, in 2003.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but upon the completion of existing naming rights payments to the White Sox, ISFA will receive all incremental naming rights revenue from the new agreement with Guaranteed Rate.
ISFA chairman Manny Sanchez said: “ISFA is extremely pleased that the new agreement with Guaranteed Rate will generate revenue, up to $6.4m (€5.7m), for the facility. As part of ISFA's approval process, the White Sox agreed that they will not require certain major renovations during the last three years of the current management agreement. This is just the latest example of ISFA deploying innovative strategies to protect Illinois taxpayers.”