This was supposed to be the first naming rights deal in history in which the sponsor doesn’t pay, but even receives money each year. But instead of a 6-year partnership, the contract was terminated yesterday.
Livestrong Sporting Park – this was the name adopted in March 2011, months before the new stadium in Kansas City even opened. This was to be the first case of a naming rights deal, in which the sponsor doesn’t pay for venue name, but receives donations for charitable activity.
The contract was signed for 6 years with possibility to prolong if all goes well. Over these 6 years Sporting was to donate $ 8-10 million to Livestrong, the cancer foundation launched by Lance Armstrong.
At this point it’s clear this isn’t going to happen as Sporting decided to terminate the contract, after less than 2 years. In a statement the club didn’t refer to Armstrong himself being the reason (last year doping scandal destroyed his reputation), but the foundation.
“This morning we were disappointed to learn Livestrong is utilising aggressive tactics designed to force us into an unsatisfactory arrangement.
"We willingly admit we were not expecting the foundation to treat a partner in this manner. Even more surprising is that Livestrong would take this action in the midst of a significant transitional phase for their organization."