City agrees to waive its stake
The Jacksonville Jaguars and EverBank officially announced a five-year partnership Tuesday that will name the stadium EverBank Field and left a room full of Jacksonville football and business enthusiasts optimistic about the future on and off the field.
“Great partnerships are essential for a sports franchise to be successful,” said Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver, who spoke of the move as a demonstration of the viability of the team in the local market.
EverBank Chair and CEO Rob Clements called the deal an effort to increase brand awareness while establishing a relationship with the fan base and being a community partner.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed during the afternoon press conference, but during City Council an emergency ordinance was introduced on the naming-rights deal that included the City waiving its 25 percent stake of the five-year, $16.6 million deal.
The deal will pay the Jaguars $3 million this season, $3.15 million in 2011, $3.3 million in 2012, $3.5 million in 2013 and $3.6 million in 2014.
The team hasn’t had a stadium naming-rights sponsor since Alltel’s 10-year, $6.2 million deal ended following the 2006 season. While Clements said that a deal between the team and EverBank has been discussed numerous times, the timing was right on the bank’s part to strike a deal now.
“It’s very exciting and a great opportunity,” said Clements.
EverBank officials and managers attended the event and Clements said the announcement was greatly received and a morale boost among employees.
Clements said the partnership will broaden EverBank’s market appeal and exposure not just in Jacksonville, but across the country, especially in the realm of online banking.
City Council President Jack Webb, filling in for Mayor John Peyton who was on a previously scheduled trip out of town, called the deal an example of EverBank being a responsible corporate citizen and another step to ensuring the team’s longevity in Jacksonville.
As for the introduced ordinance that would waive the City’s 25 percent stake of the deal, Webb said the deal would go through the vetting process, but he ultimately hopes it passes. He said what helps the Jaguars benefits the city.
Given the economic climate, a five-year deal was deemed the best fit, said Weaver in a question-and-answer session with media, but EverBank will have a negotiating window to sign another deal when the current one expires.
Clements joked that would happen if Weaver didn’t play such hardball and came down off the price.