SBC Puts Name on Sports Arena

Creative Civilization Bows Ads for San Antonio Facility, Tourism
DALLAS–SBC Communications has secured the naming rights to San Antonio’s planned new arena. The multi-purpose facility will be known as SBC Center.
The telecom, based in San Antonio since 1993, paid $41 million for the 20-year corporate sponsorship.
“We are grateful to call San Antonio home, and we are pleased to be associated with a state-of-the-art facility that will benefit our community,” said Edward E. Whitacre Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of SBC. “This deal makes good business sense for our company and offers outstanding branding and marketing opportunities moving forward.”
Proceeds from the sponsorship will be used by the arena, in part, to make low-cost event tickets available to the general public, fund local student scholarships and install video displays, scoreboards and Internet access.
Construction on the $175 million arena, which will host the San Antonio Spurs basketball team and San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo among other events, will begin next month. The project is scheduled for completion in fall 2002.
San Antonio-based Creative Civilization–An Aguilar Agency, the agency of record for the Spurs, developed nine billboards promoting the new arena name.
To help ensure the success of the sports arena, which will be paid for in part by a visitor tax levied on area hotel rooms, the shop has also launched a “Beyond the Alamo” campaign to promote tourism.
“This is an added dimension to San Antonio’s already successful campaign by the convention and visitors bureau,” said Al Aguilar, principal of Creative Civilization. The bureau’s advertising efforts are currently handled by The Center for the Persuasive Arts in San Antonio.
The new tourism advertising campaign was initially funded with seed money from the city. Major corporate sponsors of the less than $1 million effort will be announced next month.
Aguilar characterized the city-sponsored advertising campaign as tightly targeted.
“We’ve subbranded and packaged various offerings,” he said, following the model of a similar “neighborhoods” campaign created by the city of Chicago.
The agency will separately market the historic city, the contemporary art scene, the diverse cultures to be found within the city and select neighborhoods.