In a Tuesday afternoon press conference, FirstEnergy Corp and the Cleveland Browns announced that FirstEnergy has bought the naming rights to Cleveland Browns Stadium.
The new name will be FirstEnergy Stadium, Home of the Browns.
As part of the naming rights agreement, FirstEnergy becomes the official energy partner of the Cleveland Browns. In addition, the partnership consists of both interior and exterior stadium signage, use of Browns trademarks, event sponsorships, as well as a full complement of media assets, including TV, radio, print and digital.
As a component of this deal, a FirstEnergy Stadium web site will be launched in the near future. As active members of the Northeast Ohio community, both entities will also jointly participate in philanthropic endeavors throughout the region.
Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam and Chief Executive Officer Joe Banner were on hand for the Browns to help announce the partnership. FirstEnergy was represented by its President and Chief Executive Officer Tony Alexander.
"This is a great day for all of us and it builds on the momentum we have experienced as we enter into a new era of Cleveland Browns Football," said Haslam.
"The Browns and FirstEnergy have enjoyed a tremendous relationship for more than a decade, and since our arrival back in August, it has been our pleasure getting to know Tony, Chairman of the Board George Smart, President of FirstEnergy Utilities Chuck Jones and many other FirstEnergy employees.
"By joining two Ohio traditions, this partnership and regional branding opportunity makes good business sense," said FirstEnergy's Alexander.
"FirstEnergy and its predecessor utilities have been serving the energy needs of customers throughout northern Ohio for more than a century, while the Browns' rich legacy in the same regional footprint dates back to 1946. It is clear the team is headed in the right direction and we look forward to being part of the new energy in FirstEnergy Stadium."
"Having a stadium naming rights deal in place was extremely important for us as we look towards the future, and it was just as imperative to accomplish this with a strong, regional company such as FirstEnergy," said Banner.
"We are excited about what this long-term partnership means, allowing both the Browns and FirstEnergy to derive many benefits from this association. This deal is a great example of why we feel very good about the direction our organization is headed, and we believe it can serve as a catalyst for many other positive developments moving forward."
Terms of the naming-rights agreement were not disclosed. The deal is contingent upon approval from Cleveland City Council. Once approved, the stadium will become the 23rd of 31 NFL venues to have entered into a naming rights deal.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson released a statement saying, "A new name for the stadium won't change the most important thing: Cleveland loves the Browns."
He also said, "The decision to sell naming rights is a business decision by the Browns' owner and he is within his rights to do so. I support his decision."
When he bought the team in August, owner Jimmy Haslam said he would explore selling the naming rights of the stadium.
The Akron-based company cannot raise the rates of their customers in order to pay for the naming rights deal. By law, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio sets the rates of electricity, not what FirstEnergy spends on advertising and other expenditures.
The stadium name has never been attached to a business or company since the team came back in 1999.
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