After a denial of a report in early June, the Milwaukee Bucks and Fiserv have officially announced a 25 year partnership involving the naming rights of the new Milwaukee arena, which had been called the Wisconsin Entertainment & Sports Center up until this point.
After calling the BMO Harris Bradley Center home for 30 years, Marquette men’s basketball will be playing in Fiserv Forum starting this fall.
If you find yourself saying “who the hell is Fiserv and why do I have to refer to them every time I talk about Marquette basketball now?” that’s a pretty fair question. Of course, that’s also the reason why Fiserv was interested in partnering with the Bucks and the new arena.
Fiserv is a Brookfield-based company that describes themselves as “a global leader in financial services technology solutions.” They’ve been in business since 1984, and according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the company was valued at approximately $31 billion as of Thursday. Before rumors surfaced in early June that Fiserv was approaching a deal for the naming rights, I had never heard of the company before, and they are a Fortune 500 company with their global headquarters located less than a mile away from the Kopps Frozen Custard location on Bluemound Road in Brookfield.
While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed at this time, Golden 1 Credit Union is paying $120 million over 20 years for the Sacramento Kings arena naming rights, while Capital One signed a 10 year, $100 million deal to be the naming sponsor of the Washington Wizards arena. Given those numbers, it’s reasonable to presume that the Fiserv/Bucks deal is valued somewhere between $6 million and $10 million per year. The Journal Sentinel says that the Bucks ownership was looking for a deal between $7 million and $10 million per year for 20 years. With this deal going out to 25 years, it seems possible that Fiserv may have gotten a break on the yearly cost while getting a few more years of rights ownership along the way.
Time for some quotes!
Jeff Yabuki, President and CEO of Fiserv:
“We are excited to partner with the Milwaukee Bucks to create an unprecedented opportunity to elevate our brand as one of the world’s leading providers of financial technology and payment services. We also expect this arrangement to further differentiate our brand in support of our purpose of delivering value and excellence to our clients every day.”
Combo statement from Bucks owners Wes Edens, Marc Lasry, and Jamie Dinan:
“We are proud to become a long-term partner with Fiserv, a dynamic international company with a prominent Wisconsin presence, which deeply shares our commitment to bettering and growing Milwaukee. It was clear from the start of our conversations that the Bucks and Fiserv align perfectly in our goals for innovation and leadership, and carry the same passion for excellence. As Fiserv Forum becomes an internationally recognized venue, we are excited to be an instrumental part of furthering Fiserv’s brand as a leader in its industry. Fiserv Forum will be the entertainment and sporting heart of our city and will deliver memorable experiences for fans and families in Wisconsin for generations to come.”
Marquette is set to begin their first season in Fiserv Forum on Tuesday, November 6th, 2018, when they host NCAA tournament darling UMBC.