Bronco Beat

Source: Boise State sells naming rights to Bronco Stadium

Boise State vs. UT Martin Saturday Sept. 7, 2013 at Bronco Stadium in Boise.
Boise State vs. UT Martin Saturday Sept. 7, 2013 at Bronco Stadium in Boise. doswald@idahostatesman.com

Boise State on Wednesday will announce a long-desired naming rights agreement for Bronco Stadium that will bring much-needed revenue to the athletic program, a source told the Idaho Statesman.

The school announced a press conference at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday for a “major announcement regarding Bronco Stadium.”

The sponsor will be a corporate entity, not a family name, the source said.

Boise State has been trying to sell stadium naming rights since at least the 1997 expansion.

“That would be the thing that could benefit our program the most right now,” then-Athletic Director Gene Bleymaier said in 2002.

Bleymaier wanted a $5 million package over 10 to 15 years in 2002.

Boise State’s basketball venue reached a naming-rights deal in 2004. Taco Bell Arena attracted $4 million over 15 years.

Under terms of Boise State’s marketing agreement with Learfield Sports that began in 2010-11, Learfield has the “right to seek naming sponsorships for available Athletics venues, including the Bronco Stadium.” Learfield pays Boise State a guaranteed amount each year and 50 percent of all revenue generated above set thresholds, which increase each year. That means it’s possible Learfield could keep 50 percent, or more, of any naming-rights deal. However, in the copy provided to the Idaho Statesman of the bid submitted by Learfield to get the marketing contract, a section titled “naming rights guarantee” was redacted.

Other notes:

—In 2002, an expert on naming rights deals told the Idaho Statesman that 80 percent of such deals are done with companies that have regional or national headquarters in that market.

— Fresno State signed a 23-year, $40 million deal for rights to the Save Mart Center, its basketball venue.

(Brian Murphy contributed to this report.)

A few non-stadium notes:

— CBSSports.com reports that the new College Football Playoff committee’s rankings will be used to determine the site for the Mountain West football championship game. The league used the now-defunct BCS standings last year.

— USA Today did a Q&A with Bryan Harsin.

— At the Boise Business Breakfast this morning, Harsin indicated that linebacker Joe Martarano of Fruitland could see some action on offense this season. Martarano took some snaps as a tight end/fullback in spring ball.

Email me at ccripe@idahostatesman.com.

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