The Miami-Dade Arena, owned by Miami-Dade County and home of the Miami Heat NBA team, was first inaugurated in 1999 as the American Airlines Arena. The arena was then renamed the FTX Arena in June 2021 following a new sponsorship agreement with the cryptocurrency exchange platform. But the naming rights deal between FTX and Miami-Dade County was officially terminated in January 2023, creating an opening for a new sponsor to step in and enjoy the various brand-building benefits that go along with naming rights to a major venue.
We dove into the visit metrics to characterize the typical Miami-Dade Arena visitor to understand why the venue is so attractive for sponsors and assess the type of brand best positioned to maximize the ROI of a naming rights deal.
Can You Take The Heat?
As the home of the Miami Heat, the Miami-Dade Arena is a strong candidate for a naming rights partnership. Winning teams tend to attract repeat game attendees – a coveted metric for advertisers looking to build consumer loyalty by connecting with dedicated fans. And the Miami Heat had one of the highest average game attendances of any NBA team during the 2021-2022 regular season – in part because of how well the Heat played.
During the 2021-2022 regular season, the Miami Heat had an average game attendance of 19.5K fans, the most of any team in the NBA’s Southeast Division. And among arenas in the division, the Miami-Dade Arena had one of the most loyal fanbases with 19% of attendees visiting at least twice during the regular season.
A winning record during the regular season generally translates into a postseason run, as it did for the Heat in 2022. A playoff berth further extends the season and increases the exposure of an arena and its partners – both to in-person fans and those watching at home. As a top-performing team, the Heat make the Miami-Dade Arena an attractive venue for advertising partners.
Miami’s Star Power
The Miami Heat led its conference in wins during the 2022 season. But the Miami-Dade Arena also led in another, perhaps surprising category. According to the AGS Behavior & Attitudes dataset, Miami-Dade Arena visitors topped arenas in the NBA’s Southeast Division with the highest percentage of “Celebrity Influenced Buyers” in 2022 – perhaps because stardom is so ingrained in Miami culture.
This suggests that the venue’s visitors are primed for advertising featuring celebrities – including the Miami Heat’s star players and the numerous other VIPs with homes and fans in Miami. When it comes to a naming rights partnership with the arena, a brand with a famous spokesperson could resonate particularly well with spectators at the venue and those watching events from home since they likely share similar preferences.
South Beach Beats
Outside of the world of basketball, concerts have been some of the Miami-Dade Arena’s most well-attended events, making a naming rights partnership with the venue an exceptionally lucrative opportunity. As a venue in the heart of a thriving metropolis, the steady demand for concerts of all types allows the arena to pack a full calendar of events that help to maintain its relevance and level of exposure among a variety of audiences year-round.
In December 2022, concerts of both the operatic pop singer Andrea Bocelli and reggaeton rapper Daddy Yankee drove visit spikes to the Miami-Dade Arena that were comparable to Heat home games. This demonstrates both the large crowds and the range of audiences that visit the venue. A partnership with the Miami-Dade Arena would likely be a sound investment for any company looking to grow its brand recognition among multiple audiences.
The Name of the Game
Based on the latest location intelligence, the Miami-Dade Arena should be an attractive venue for sponsors and its naming rights could prove to be a golden opportunity for the right brand. With an understanding of the preferences and behaviors of attendees of any event, marketers can maximize the ROI of partnering with this and any other entertainment venue.
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