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Jax Daily Record Friday, May. 23, 201412:00 PM EST

EverBank hoping to keep name on Jaguars' home field


EverBank Financial Corp. hopes its name will stay on EverBank Field, the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

EverBank Chairman and CEO Rob Clements said Thursday talks are in progress with the Jaguars.

“We’re in discussions with the organization about the prospect of renewing,” he said at EverBank Center Downtown after the company’s annual meeting of stockholders.

He said it was premature to comment about details. Dan Edwards, Jaguars senior vice president of communications, said Thursday there is nothing to report.

EverBank is heading into the final year of a five-year, $16.6 million deal to sponsor the city-owned stadium.

“We’ve enjoyed our partnership with the Jaguars and we’d like to see it continue,” Clements said.

Asked when the negotiations to renew might conclude, he said “it’s hard to say” but certainly by the end of the upcoming season.

Clements said that sponsoring EverBank Field has elevated the profile of the Jacksonville-based company, which does business nationwide.

He said the bank has benefited both with new business and in employee recruitment and retention efforts.

The Jaguars and EverBank announced the five-year partnership in July 2010. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver and partners owned the franchise at the time, selling it to businessman Shad Khan in early 2012.

Khan has expanded the Jaguars profile, including a deal for the team to play one home game in London for four seasons and a $63 million project to upgrade EverBank Field.

That project includes two new end zone video scoreboards, expected to be the largest in the world. The city agreed to finance $43 million and Khan would pay the remaining $20 million. Completion is expected this summer.

When the deal was announced for Jacksonville Municipal Stadium to become EverBank Field, Clements called it an effort to increase brand awareness while establishing a relationship with the fan base and being a community partner.

The deal paid the Jaguars $3 million the first season, $3.15 million in 2011, $3.3 million in 2012, $3.5 million in 2013 and $3.6 million this year.

The deal called for the city waiving its 25 percent stake, or a little more than $4 million over five years, which City Council approved in August 2010.

Another bill changed the name of Stadium Place in the city’s sports complex to EverBank Field Drive.

Until EverBank, the team hadn’t had a stadium naming-rights sponsor since Alltel’s 10-year, $6.2 million deal ended following the 2006 season. Jacksonville was awarded the franchise in 1993 and team’s first game was in 1995.

Clements said in 2010 that a deal between the team and EverBank had been discussed numerous times before striking an agreement.

Given the economic climate, a five-year deal was deemed the best fit, Weaver said in 2010. He said EverBank would have a negotiating window to sign another deal when the current one expires.

The Jaguars had been seeking about $5 million per year for naming rights.

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