Syracuse remains wed to Carrier as college naming rights industry takes off

first_imgUPDATED: Oct. 10, 2017 at 3:23 p.m.One morning in February 1979, then-Syracuse University Chancellor Melvin Eggers stood at a podium in Drumlins Country Club and announced a charitable gift that would alter the course of Syracuse sports history. It was believed to be a needed donation to finance construction of the new stadium on campus, but with it came unintended consequences.“It is most gratifying,” Eggers said that day, “that the keystone for this project — a major investment in central New York and a vote of confidence in SU — comes from Carrier, a most wonderful neighbor to everyone in the community.”With those words, Eggers set in motion a $2.75 million agreement between Syracuse and Carrier Corp., then the world’s largest manufacturer of air conditioning units and heaters. It was not a naming rights deal but a one-time gift, which contributed to keeping Dome construction on time.Now, more than 38 years later, the Dome is a fixture of central New York but leaves SU with an untapped source of revenue: a naming rights deal. Last fall, Syracuse was attempting to end its deal with Carrier, according to Bloomberg. By not getting out of its current agreement, Syracuse University is missing out on about $1.5 million per year in naming rights for the Dome, according to experts.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBased on industry trends, renovations could tie into a name change as part of a wider rebranding. The university has said it will make significant upgrades to the Dome, including the installation of an air conditioning system and new roof. A timetable has not been announced.Syracuse University and Carrier Corp. did not reply to requests for comment on this story.Andy Mendes | Digital Design EditorIn the months before Eggers stood at Drumlins, Syracuse needed to raise $9 million over an 18-month period to meet the September 1980 deadline. The university was searching for a private business to make a gift, and SU could not find any bidders until Carrier’s pledge. As a courtesy, Syracuse named the facility after the firm.Members of the SU Athletic Policy Board, which influenced the university’s decision to construct the Dome, said they believe Eggers made a phone call with Carrier Corp. sometime after New York state gave SU $15 million to start the project. Then, without much conversation with colleagues, Eggers inked the agreement with Carrier Corp.“We got a hell of a deal from the state on that,” said Ronald Cavanagh, a former professor at SU and member of the Athletic Policy Board. “Why Mel turned around and did what he did with Carrier on the naming is beyond me.”Melvin Holm, former Carrier Corp. chairman, promised his gift would lessen fears that Carrier, headquartered in Syracuse and the city’s largest employer, would leave the area. Yet, in 2004, the company closed the two manufacturing plants in East Syracuse, laying off 1,200 workers and moving those operations to Asia and the South.Throughout the 2000s, as Carrier’s footprint in the region faded, there were still discussions between SU and Carrier. In 2009, SU named the field at the Dome “Ernie Davis Legends Field,” in honor of SU’s 1961 Heisman Trophy running back. While most fans interviewed by The Daily Orange said they refer to the facility as just “the Dome” or “Carrier Dome,” there had been backlash for why the facility was not named in Davis’ honor in the first place.Dr. Jake Crouthamel, the athletic director at the time, said the deal with Carrier seemed necessary. The deadline to finance the Dome was looming. Buried in chapter 7 of a Syracuse sports stadium feasibility study from April 1976 are several paragraphs detailing how the cost to build large new stadiums spiked, somewhere between $5 million and $30 million. The Dome, a first-of-its-kind venue on a college campus, cost $31 million, according to SU tax documents.Meanwhile, bond interest rates had risen while ticket prices stagnated. As a result, revenue per seat had not risen as fast as the cost of providing the seat. The problem of financing a stadium had become difficult, especially for a private university like Syracuse that gets no state or federal funding for its operations.“The donation was better than nothing and nothing was what we were dealing with,” Crouthamel said. “In retrospect from a purely financial standpoint it was not a good deal, but it was the only deal out there and that to us was sure better than nothing.”Daily Orange File PhotoA late-1970s university-wide fundraising project raised more than $35 million, which was allocated to mostly academic buildings and programs. About $6.5 million of that went toward the Dome. Why more of that $35 million wasn’t allocated is “beyond me,” Cavanagh said.Nevertheless, a $15 million sum from the state accelerated the project. The state tacked on an additional $1 million to implement additional safety design, while $6 million came from the general operating fund at SU. Carrier’s gift brought SU’s funding drive to more than two-thirds complete, at around $21 million. More important, it made meeting deadline likely.“Without that donation,” said David Kaval, a lecturer in management at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, “the Carrier Dome probably wouldn’t be here.”The Dome project made naming rights deals more common for financing facilities, said Kaval, who is also the president of the Oakland Athletics and San Jose Earthquakes. He said the Dome ushered in a new era of getting stadiums completed via gifts and, over the next couple of decades, corporate sponsors.In the Atlantic Coast Conference, Louisville (Papa John’s) and Wake Forest (BB&T) are the only two schools with football naming rights deals. Nationwide, Washington, USC and Kentucky are among football programs with million-dollar deals. Pitt and Miami also play in stadiums with naming rights, but they don’t belong to the universities.With the San Jose Earthquake’s stadium, Kaval said that Avaya, a technology company and an existing partner, inquired about the possibility of a naming rights deal. One of SU’s existing partner could do the same, Kaval said. Some organizations hire a third-party firm to seek potential sponsors.“It’s like a marriage,” Kaval said. “You need to make sure you get to know the other group and be patient. There’s so much pressure to get stuff down yesterday. Both parties need to feel they get something out of it.”Experts said football stadiums can bring in lower price tags than arenas because, in part, sponsors are more willing to pay for facilities with multiple tenants. The Carrier Dome, which hosts football, basketball, lacrosse, Monster Jam and concerts, fits that bill and could be an effective sales point to companies, said Patrick Walsh, an associate professor of sport management in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics.Plus, naming rights deals can represent a few percentage points of an athletic department’s revenue. Naming rights are a revenue driver and can create positive associations between brands and teams, Walsh said. That’s important because over the past decade, only about 25 FBS schools generated more revenue than they spent, according to NCAA reports.Walsh cautions against the over-commercialization of college sports. Fans may respond negatively toward what could be a more corporate feel. Schools are also reluctant to pursue corporate name tags because, if the company moves out of town or struggles to sustain itself, like Carrier, the name doesn’t have as much weight or tie in the community, Walsh said.One particular challenge with the Dome, Walsh noted, is that because it’s been under the same name for nearly four decades, it would take “a long time” for people to call it the new name.It could be logical for a Dome naming rights deal to finance any potential renovations, Walsh said. At USC, revenue from its recent naming rights deal will reportedly help offset the $270 million renovations to the stadium, which are in the early stages. In 2013, Washington’s Husky Stadium got a $282 million makeover, before the university made an agreement with Alaska Airlines. The partnership benefits Washington because its teams use the airline for discounts on sports travel, which can be costly.“For any naming rights partnership to be successful,” Walsh said, “it can’t just be simply slapping the name on the side of an arena. That’s good from an awareness perspective, but you want both parties to be more involved with each other.”Back on the muggy Saturday night of Sept. 20, 1980, the Carrier Dome opened its doors. Holm, of Carrier, walked down a carpet toward midfield, alongside Eggers and other leaders of the Dome project. Holm waved to the sold-out Dome in its debut, a football game against Miami of Ohio.“You Mr. Holm gave this project the push that got it into high gear,” read the announcer, Marty Glickman.With that, Holm received a round of applause. He walked back off the field and down a Dome tunnel, the beneficiary of relatively small gift whose effects still linger nearly 40 years later.CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, a graphic element misstated Syracuse University’s gift from Carrier Corp. as an annual payout. The university received the money as a one-time gift. The Daily Orange regrets this error.CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics was misnamed. The Daily Orange regrets this error. Comments Published on October 9, 2017 at 11:55 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Betting community pays tribute to Punters Lounge founder Paul Ross

first_img Submit BGC welcomes GAMSTOP roll out and credit card ban January 14, 2020 Related Articles Share TAG Media launches US-Odds.com as first ‘US FTP property’ December 10, 2019 Carolyn Harris – The BGC is no improvement for UK gambling… it just puts up walls!  May 1, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Industry tributes have been paid to Paul Ross, founder and managing director of sports betting player community Punters Lounge (PuntersLounge.com), who passed away last weekend after losing his battle against cancer.Ross took over the Punters Lounge website in 2005, developing one of the first UK online sports portals to review online bookmakers and refer players to trusted websites.Having founded his website during the nascent days of affiliate marketing, Ross transformed Punters Lounge into a vibrant player community, establishing the UK’s first betting-related forum.Ross’ endeavours saw Punters Lounge become a leading destination for betting insights and opinions, with its community built on the ethos of accepting all levels of players (‘from novice-to-pro’).Punters Lounge colleague Steve Day summed up how ‘Ross the Boss’ had grown Punters Lounge. “Paul’s enthusiasm for Punters Lounge was infectious,” he said. “I’d struggled to buy into any roles I’d previously had when it came to working.“Paul made it easy to fully invest in this place. He not only believed in what Punters Lounge was and should become, but he also believed in those that wanted to make it happen.”Further to building Punters Lounge, Ross was recognised as a leading figurehead in improving affiliate and bookmaker relations by intervening and moderating various player disputes.In his 15 years leading Punters Lounge, Ross dealt with all shifting paradigms of the online betting and affiliate sectors – birth, enterprise, consolidation and M&A phases.Navigating his enterprise through various betting challenges, Ross emphasised that Punters Lounge could not operate as a faceless domain, instead growing its community through race days and infamous pub crawls.Friend and business associate Tom Galanis, Managing Director of Tag Media, commented on Ross’ passing: “In his final months when he knew that his time was running short, Paul was generous enough to give some of it to me, providing some of the greatest and – in a way that only Paul could do without offending – frankest advice I’ve ever been given.“He went out of his way to address problems I was facing when his outlook was evidently bleaker. I can’t thank him enough for that.”Punters Lounge will continue to serve its betting community with a team determined to continue the work Ross had accomplished.last_img read more

RJ Barrett records fourth triple-double in school history for Duke

first_img Campbell’s Chris Clemons scores 48, moves past huge names on D-I scoring list 🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨 FIRST TRIPLE DOUBLE SINCE 2006 @RjBarrett623 points, 11 boards, 10 dimes, 0 TO in 36 minutes (8-16 FG) pic.twitter.com/ZcxYdjDa6m— Duke Basketball (@DukeMBB) February 17, 2019Barrett is one of the top prospects for the upcoming 2019 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-7 star helped Duke extend its winning streak to nine games Saturday.The Blue Devils will face the Tar Heels on Wednesday in a highly anticipated rivalry game. Related News Barrett recorded 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the contest. This made him the fourth Blue Devil to ever record a triple-double. He is just the second freshman to accomplish the feat.center_img RJ Barrett put up impressive numbers in Duke’s 94-78 win over NC State on Saturday.last_img read more