Ted Leonsis Rumors
Monumental Sports and Entertainment (MSE) and Capital One today announced that Capital One will become the new naming rights partner for the arena in downtown Washington, which hosts over 220 concerts, shows and events a year, including the Washington Capitals, Washington Mystics, Washington Valor, Washington Wizards and Georgetown men’s basketball. The partnership of these two prominent local companies underscores their deep commitment to the continued economic growth and development of Washington, D.C. where they are both headquartered, and where Monumental employs 4,000 full and part-time employees and vendors. It also reinforces the unique position that Washington, D.C. holds and the role the D.C. market plays as a center for global influence and a platform for business-to-business and business-to-government connections, offering opportunities that can’t be replicated anywhere else. The arena will be called Capital One Arena beginning immediately, with the full signage and branding shift to occur in fall 2017.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment is engaged in active conversations with Capital One about renaming Verizon Center, and a person familiar with the deal suggested that an announcement could come by next week. The existing naming rights deal with Verizon, which predated Ted Leonsis’s ownership of the downtown arena, was set to expire in 2018, and Leonsis had been vocal about his desire to land a more team-friendly arrangement.
Domain Name Wire reported this week that Capital One has registered more than 50 domain names that suggested the financial corporation could be taking over the naming rights, including “Cap1centerdc.com” and “capitalonearenadc.com.” News that a deal was nearing completion was first reported by 106.7 The Fan.
Capital One’s interest, the source suggested, would link two local companies that both have business and philanthropic ties to the D.C. region. The bank — which is building a new headquarters in Tysons Corner and has spent heavily on sports advertising in recent years — was drawn to the global reach of the D.C. market, according to the person familiar with the deal. Capital One has already been a major corporate sponsor of both the Capitals and the Wizards.
“John is an exceptional talent and a cornerstone for our team – and our city,” said Ted Leonsis, Founder, Chairman and Majority Owner of Monumental Sports and Entertainment. “This signing means stability for the Wizards for years to come and solidifies our commitment to drafting and then developing talent here at home. It’s John’s unique blend of skill and leadership that makes us a championship-caliber team.”