Today the Chicago Blackhawks, the Chicago Bulls, the United Center Joint Venture and United Airlines announced a new sponsorship agreement that will ensure the naming rights of the United Center for the next 20 years. Financial terms were not disclosed.
United Airlines will continue to serve as the Official Airline of the United Center, the Bulls, and the Blackhawks, and will receive advertising and promotional exclusivity in the Airline category and logo usage rights for all three entities. Additionally, United Airlines will be the presenting sponsor for the United Center 25th Anniversary Celebration during the 2019-20 season.
“We’re thrilled to have United Airlines on board for another 20 years. We are proud of the partnership and what it will continue to mean to the United Center, from our fans and customers, to the positive economic role the United Center will continue to play in Chicago,” said Rocky Wirtz, Co-President of the United Center Joint Venture, the organization that owns and operates the facility.
An important element of the sponsorship agreement is a commitment by the Bulls, the Blackhawks, the United Center and United Airlines to develop and support community outreach programs to benefit Chicago. More details on these initiatives are expected to be announced starting in the Spring of 2014.
“As Chicago’s hometown airline, we are delighted to continue our partnership with one of the most recognizable sports and entertainment facilities in the world,” said Jeff Foland, United's executive vice president of marketing, technology and strategy. “Our more than 14,000 Chicago-based coworkers are honored to have been a part of so many Bulls and Blackhawks championship moments and look forward to many more to come.”
Visitors to the United Center will also see a series of updates and upgrades to the interior and exterior of the building. New signage, additional LED boards, and other elements are scheduled to be installed over a four-to-six month period and coincide with the new sponsorship agreement announcement. These efforts are part of the United Center’s ongoing, long-term plans to improve and enhance the fan experience, and it is anticipated they will be formally unveiled in the Spring of 2014.
The United Center, home to the Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls, is the largest arena in North America. Since its opening in 1994, the United Center has welcomed over forty million guests and hosts over 200 events each year.