Kaiser Permanente to sponsor Warriors’ Santa Cruz arena
Warriors ownership moves quickly, you have to give them that.
As reported by the Santa Cruz Sentinel, the team now has a naming rights sponsor for its Santa Cruz D-League home, along with a logo for the Santa Cruz Warriors. I figured they’d use a surf theme. Instead they kept it quite close to the corporate identity, right down to the use of the Copperplate font.
Oops, here’s the proper logo:
The curious thing about Kaiser’s move is that the company has no facilities, no hospitals, no presence in Santa Cruz County. Competitors like Sutter and CHW do, and there’s little stopping Kaiser from expanding surfside – yet they haven’t. If anything, the move allows Kaiser a chance to have its name mentioned frequently without paying the freight for a major venue naming rights deal. I had argued in the past that Kaiser, which has sponsored the Warriors for years as well as the LA Angels, would have a hard time justifying a multimillion, decades-long naming rights deal as a nonprofit. A deal of this scale, which may well be part of Kaiser’s recent presenting sponsorship deal, is a lot easier to swallow.
The Warriors and the City of Santa Cruz have only a few months to get the tent arena built in time for the upcoming NBA/D-League season, which is guaranteed to include an exhibition game played by the big Warriors. When groundbreaking occurs, I’ll be sure to head over there for the ceremony and every so often to check on the arena’s progress.
P.S. – I noticed something interesting in the D-League’s scheduling. To presumably keep travel costs low, a road team will often play a two-game weekend series at an opponent, a scheduling model not practiced by either the NBA or NHL. It’s not particularly consequential for fans, but it makes sense for the league.