Amidst the growing farrago over the escalating cost of the new Katy High football stadium in Texas, the school district signed a naming rights deal for the forthcoming stadium with Academy Sports + Outdoors, the Houston-based, regionally popular sporting goods chain.
According to the Houston Business Journal, Academy’s naming rights deal comes in at a total expense of $2.5 million across 10 years, a cost of roughly $250,000 per year. While that can’t compare with the megabucks spent by the likes of the $18 million per year that MetLife pays to be the naming partner of the stadium of the NFL’s New York Giants and Jets, but it’s actually not as far as you might think from some college naming rights deals.
First off, Academy’s $2.5 million spend is just $250,000 down from the total that Carrier paid to earn indefinite naming rights to Syracuse’s domed home for basketball and football. The high school outlay is actually identical to the $250,000 per year that InfoCision pays to serve as the sponsor for the home of Akron football, and nearly within $200,000 of the $454,000 that Liberty Bank pays to sponsor Arkansas State.
If it seems surprising that a high school stadium could pull down funding that’s close to what some perennially bowl-bound college programs earn, well, that’s greatly underestimating the passion and pull of high school football in the Lone Star State. The greater question may be where naming rights in high school facilities go from here. If this foray is any indication — or the $1.5 million naming rights deal in nearby Cypress-Fairbanks ISD — there may be a much bigger market for these rights than most would have imagined.