Sun Life Financial and the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League announced on January 20 that they have entered into a new multi-dimensional partnership. The most visible fruit of that relationship will be the renaming of team's stadium as Sun Life Stadium, which will be the site of the 2010 Super Bowl on February 7, and the 2010 Pro Bowl, one week earlier, on January 31.
In addition to acquiring naming and sponsorship rights, Sun Life Financial has said it will make Miami and South Florida a major part of a multi-city philanthropic endeavor through an annual partnership with the Miami Dolphins Foundation. Sun Life will promote the stadium as the "Official Home of the Miami Dolphins" and the company as the "Official Insurance Partner of the Miami Dolphins" as well as the "Official Wealth Management Services Partner of the Miami Dolphins."
The Sun Life Stadium logo will appear on printed promotional materials related to the stadium, all paper tickets, and stadium signage. The name will also be heard on announcements over the public address system and on electronic message boards at Dolphins home games and other events at the stadium.
The financial firm's commitment to the region includes the Sun Life Rising Star Awards program which will provide four nonprofit organizations focused on engaging students in their educational paths with a $50,000 donation funded by Sun Life's $250,000 annual donation to the Miami Dolphins Foundation. Additionally, one senior student in each organization will receive a $5,000 scholarship to use toward college tuition.
The Sun Life Rising Star Awards program is geared toward recognizing and rewarding exceptional at-risk youth and the nonprofit organizations that provide them with academic support and encourage personal development. Sun Life Financial is investing more than $1 million in grants, scholarships, and financial education in six U.S. markets over the next year.
This is not the first time this sports facility has re-branded itself. Since its opening in 1987, the stadium, which also is home to the Florida Marlins, the University of Miami Hurricanes, the Florida Marlins, and the FedEx Orange Bowl, has been known as Joe Robbie Stadium, Pro Player Park, Pro Player Stadium, Dolphins Stadium, and Dolphin Stadium. Last year it was called Land Shark Stadium, under a sponsorship deal with Anheuser-Busch InBev and Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville's joint brewing project--Land Shark Lager.
Sun Life Stadium joins an impressive roster of other major sports arenas bearing the names of financial services firms. A partial list of those facilities and their home teams:
? Bank of America Stadium--Carolina Panthers (NFL)
? Bank One Ballpark--Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)
? Citi Field--New York Mets (MLB)
? Conseco Fieldhouse--Indiana Pacers (NBA)
? HSBC Arena--Buffalo Sabers (NHL)
? Invesco Field at Mile High--Denver Broncos (NFL)
? Lincoln Financial Field--Philadelphia Eagles (NFL)
? PNC Park--Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB)
? Prudential Center--New Jersey Devils (NHL)
? Raymond James Stadium--Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL)
? RBC Center--Hurricanes (NHL)
? Safeco Field--Seattle Mariners (MLB)
? TD Garden-- Boston Bruins (NHL) and Celtics (NBA) (formerly known as Fleet Center)
? Wachovia Center--Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) and 76ers (NBA)