May 26, 2011, 8:05 PM EDT
Pop quiz hotshot:
Where do the Miami Heat play their home games? AmericanAirlines Arena.
Where do the Dallas Mavericks play their home games? American Airlines Center.
Who do we know is one big winner if the Mavs face off against the Heat in the NBA finals? You guessed it.
American bought the naming rights to the Dallas (American Airlines Center) and Miami (AmericanAirlines Arena) arenas in 1999 and 2000. The airline paid $42 million over 20 years for Miami’s naming rights and $195 million over 30 years for the rights in Dallas.
So what’s it worth to the airline?
Philadelphia-based sponsorship evaluation firm Front Row Marketing calculated expected game mentions, exterior and interior arena signage and on screen text. They then translated the exposure time to what a 30-second ad costs for the Finals, roughly $450,000.
Front Row Marketing’s Eric Smallwood took into account the placement of the signs inside each arena and told CNBC that every game in Dallas would be worth $10,515,000 to American Airlines and every game in Miami would be worth $10,729,500, thanks in part to a larger “AA” logo on the center scoreboard.
That has to grate on the marketing execs at Southwest Airlines (the official airline of the NBA, if that hasn’t been beat into your head with ads during the playoffs). United Airlines is hoping for a historic Chicago comeback so they can get in on the action.
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