The Full 90

Livestrong Sporting Park’s stadium deal benefits others

Not all naming-rights deals produce revenue for the stadium’s tenant.

In the case of Livestrong Sporting Park, the new home of Major League Soccer club Sporting Kansas City, the team will donate about $7.5 million of all stadium revenues, including ticket sales and concessions, to cyclist Lance Armstrong’s foundation that serves those battling cancer.

“Access to Livestrong’s partners, contacts and donors will help garner events, concerts, charitable functions and meetings utilizing our spaces,” Robb Heineman, Sporting Club’s chief executive officer, said in an email.

“We have had a strong identity from the very opening, which has been great for the brand and the cause. Since we both have/use a strong digital presence, we have increased our social media followers vastly through the partnership.”

Sporting Kansas City’s neighbor, Kansas Speedway, has had discussions about a naming-rights partner since it opened in 2001, but has not found the right fit.

“We would definitely entertain naming rights, but the right partnership hasn’t come about,” said Chris Schwartz, vice president of marketing and sales.

In a sport that is defined by sponsorships and marketing, only two NASCAR tracks, Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. — owned by Kansas Speedway’s parent company, ISC — and Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., have naming rights.

But all of Kansas Speedway’s races have title sponsors, including STP and Hollywood Casino for the two Sprint Cup races. The Kansas Lottery sponsors the Nationwide Series race, and Specialty Fertilizer Products, an Overland Park-based company in the agriculture business, will sponsor the 2012 Camping World Truck Series race.

“You need the sponsor dollars to make the entire model make sense,” Schwartz said. “We budget with dollars in place from those entitlements. Our roster of companies range from an agriculture company to a consumer goods company like STP and the Hollywood Casino, which is utilizing the program for the awareness of the property opening this February.”