The AP reports:
If you’re a basketball fan, you’ll hear the name American Airlines a lot over the next couple weeks.
American slapped its name on the arenas of both teams playing in the NBA finals back when stadium naming rights were a hot commodity—the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami and the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
So whether the Miami Heat or the Dallas Mavericks win the title, American figures to get a lot of TV time. The same thing happened in 2006, when the Heat defeated the Mavericks in six games.
American bought the naming rights to those arenas a decade ago. According to published reports at the time, which American wouldn’t confirm or deny, it agreed to pay $195 million over 30 years for the Dallas rights and $42 million over 20 years in Miami.
Stadium-naming rights were trendy then, and they reached a fever pitch in 2006 when Citigroup agreed to pay $20 million a year to christen the New York Mets’ new baseball home Citi Field when it opened a couple of years ago. But sports sponsorships became harder to sell during the recession, and the business hasn’t fully recovered.