By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
September 14, 2012
Labor unrest couldn’t stop the Florida Panthers from striking a big deal. The Panthers and North Carolina-based bank BB&T reached a new naming rights deal for the NHL team’s home arena. The deal is for 10 years, with two five-year options, at a cost of $3.7 million annually. Per the deal, BB&T becomes one of the Panthers’ Premier Pillar Partners and receives significant arena, marketing, and online exposure. The arena will be fully converted to the BB&T Center by the middle of October.
The deal doesn’t come as a surprise since BB&T recently acquired BankAtlantic, the arena’s previous naming sponsor, and now is trying to increase its brand awareness in South Florida. BB&T is the fourth corporate name on the arena in its 14-year history, joining National Car Rental, Office Depot, and BankAtlantic. The Broward County-owned BB&T Center is currently the 13th ranked arena in the country by Pollstar magazine.