Randolph, MA (June, 14 2001) -- The Providence Civic Center Authority and Dunkin' Donuts have signed a 10-year agreement for naming and marketing rights to the city-owned facility.
The agreement was announced at a ceremony outside the building that will now be known as "The Dunkin' Donuts Center" in Providence. Joining in the announcement were Providence Mayor Vincent A. Cianci, Jr.; Joshua Teverow, Chairman of the Civic Center Authority; Paul J. Tavares, Rhode Island State Treasurer; Lisa Comins, Field Marketing Manager for Dunkin' Donuts in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts; John Henderson, 29-year Dunkin' Donuts franchisee; as well as members of the Civic Center Authority.
The agreement, effective immediately, is a ten-year deal between Dunkin' Donuts and the Civic Center, involving a name change, product rights, signage and marketing opportunities inside and outside the building.
Under the deal, patrons inside the Dunkin' Donuts Center will be able to purchase Dunkin' Donuts coffee and other beverage products such as COOLATTA® slush drinks and Dunkaccino® at multiple concession locations on the concourse. A portion of the proceeds from those sales will directly benefit the Dunkin' Donuts Center. Dunkin' Donuts will also offer baked goods at a central concession location in the arena.
In addition, the agreement provides for Dunkin' Donuts to co-promote a minimum of two events during each season, including advertising and in-store promotions. This will enable the Dunkin' Donuts Center to reach a wider audience of new customers for its events.
The new Dunkin' Donuts Center will continue the Providence tradition of being a premiere venue for special events and concerts and will remain home to the Providence Bruins and the Providence College Friars men's basketball team.
Another Step in the Renaissance of Providence
"For 28 years, the Providence Civic Center has been a great source of pride for its owners and investors - the taxpayers of Providence," Mayor Cianci said. "This pride will remain strong for many, many years to come if we, the owners of the newly renamed Dunkin' Donuts Center, ensure that its future is secure and that our investment is safe."
The effort to sell naming rights was prompted by the Mayor as one component of a number of initiatives comprising a long-range plan to enhance Providence's beloved venue as a viable economic generator. The recent renaissance of the City, as well as an increase in events and efficiency at the Center created a viable climate for the agreement.
"We'd been considering selling the naming rights for several years now, and feel that our agreement with Dunkin' Donuts has far outpaced other offers that came to the Authority's attention," Mayor Cianci said. "Providence built this arena in 1972 for $13 million. Since then, we have invested millions more in upgrades, maintenance, improvements and the like. Truly it is worth far more today than ever, as evidenced by this agreement."
"Formerly Known as the Civic Center"
The Providence Civic Center officially opened on November 3, 1972 and cost $13 million to build. With 14,000 + seats, it can accommodate any type of sports or entertainment event. Nearly one million patrons attend Center events yearly, with nearly 30 million patrons passing through its doors since its opening 28 years ago.
In May of 2000, Dunkin' Donuts was selected as the winning bidder among several companies interested in marketing rights. Specifics of the contract have been under negotiation for several months, leading to the 10-year agreement announced today.
"It's a mutually beneficial strategic partnership between the Civic Center and Dunkin' Donuts that combines successful business strengths of both parties," says Civic Center Authority Chairman Joshua Teverow. "Dunkin' Donuts gets added visibility and the opportunity to sell products to our ticket holders. We get financial support and the opportunity to market inside 185 Dunkin' Donuts shops in our region. With its size and desirable reputation among consumers, Dunkin' Donuts is an ideal partner," adds Teverow.
Dunkin' Donuts as a Civic and Charitable Resource
Dunkin' Donuts is the largest coffee and baked goods chain in the world, and the Rhode Island/Southeastern Massachusetts area has been a critical part of the company's business for three decades. The first Dunkin' Donuts shop in Rhode Island opened on July 7, 1956 and is located at 1245 North Main Street in Providence. The company has 124 shops in Rhode Island and 61 in Southeastern Massachusetts. They are owned by franchisees- 60 independent businessmen and women who live and work in these communities.
"Like the Dunkin' Donuts Center, Dunkin' Donuts franchisees are an important part of civic and charitable life in the communities in Rhode Island and Southeast Massachusetts," says Lisa Comins, Field Marketing Manager for Dunkin' Donuts. "This agreement is another way we can strengthen the arts and entertainment community and the communities in which we do business."
Just today, Dunkin' Donuts awarded $1,000 scholarships to one hundred students from throughout the region. Dunkin' Donuts' charitable initiatives in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts also include support of the Rhode Island Special Olympics, Hasbro Children's Hospital, the Jimmy Fund, and the Pawtucket Red Sox Fantasy Camps.
A Good Business Strategy
This announcement continues a marketing trend of renaming public and sports venues. "This is a great way for a company to make a supportive statement to the region and a commitment to the community," says Jim Andrews, Senior Vice-President of IEG, a nationally recognized consultant on sponsorships. "While many such agreements are for new arenas, there have been successful marketing deals for existing facilities as well." Andrews cites New Jersey's former Brendan J. Byrne Arena (now Continental Airlines Arena) and the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis (now the RCA Dome) as examples.