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SoFi confirms 20-year naming-rights deal for Rams, Chargers stadium

The $5bn future home of the National Football League’s Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers will be officially known as SoFi Stadium, it was confirmed on September 15.

Terms of the 20-year agreement between the LA Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park and digital personal finance company Social Finance (SoFi) for the naming rights to its 72,000-seater stadium, which is due to open in 2020, were not disclosed.

However, it was reported earlier this year that the partnership was worth $20m per annum – or $400m total – making it one of the most lucrative naming-rights deals in NFL history. According to Bloomberg, the deal is worth more than $30m a year, which would represent football’s largest-ever facility naming rights agreement.

In addition, the San Francisco-based SoFi will become an official partner of both the Rams and the Chargers, as well as a partner of the performance venue and surrounding entertainment district in Inglewood, California.

SoFi members will have their own lounge inside the stadium, and the company will stage additional events and seminars at the wider complex.

“It was critical for us to find a tech-focused partner who is on the cutting edge and genuinely understands the needs of all of our constituents and who challenges us to think in creative ways to make every visitor to SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park feel special and at home,” said LA Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

SoFi Stadium has already been pencilled in to stage the NFL’s showpiece Super Bowl game in 2022, the College Football National Championship game in 2023, and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2028 Olympic Games.

It is also likely to be a venue for the 2026 Fifa World Cup, which is being hosted by the United States, Mexico and Canada.

In August, American Airlines secured the naming rights to the plaza next to the stadium.

San Francisco-based SoFi is a financial technology company that has particularly forged niches in student and personal lending. The company joins the ranks of other financial services outfits that have made big leaps into sports sponsorship and naming rights, including Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Barclays. But unlike those large, publicly traded establishments, SoFi is a Silicon Valley-headquartered, venture-backed company formed just eight years ago. SoFi in the spring closed on a $500m funding round led by Qatar Investment Authority valuing the company at $4.3bn.

“This is a giant leap toward achieving our company’s mission of helping people get their money right by reaching our members where they are,” said Anthony Noto, SoFi chief executive, and the NFL’s chief financial officer from 2008-10. “The partnership with this transformative project taking shape under Stan Kroenke’s leadership is the perfect opportunity to drive awareness and trust in the SoFi brand as we continue to grow and reach members on a national level.”

The landmark agreement is also a boon to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who was a big initial advocate of the Inglewood project. Legends Global Partnerships, part of the Legends firm co-owned by Jones, represented Hollywood Park in negotiating the SoFi deal.

Read this: LA Rams use Super Bowl run to showcase $5bn stadium complex