Naming-Rights Deal Keeps B of A off Marquee in Boston
Boraks, David, American Banker
The news media has focused a lot of attention on this week's Democratic National Convention and the Boston sports arena hosting it, but a big name in banking is curiously absent from the spotlight.
Bank of America Corp., the nation's largest consumer banking company, bought FleetBoston Financial Corp. four months ago but has yet to work out a naming-rights deal for the FleetCenter.
Experts say that in failing to reach a deal before the convention, B of A gave up a rare chance to have its name splashed across newspaper reports and television screens worldwide.
"Timing is everything," and B of A clearly missed an opportunity, said Robert Passikoff, the founder and president of Brand Keys Inc., a New York brand consulting firm.
When B of A announced its $47 billion deal for FleetBoston on Oct. 27, executives said they were eager to rename the Boston building the Bank of America Center or something similar. The arena hosts hundreds of events annually and is home to two professional sports teams: the National Basketball Association's Boston Celtics and the National Hockey League's Boston Bruins.
For months B of A has been locked in talks with the arena's owner, Delaware North Cos. of Buffalo, but has been unable to reach a new naming-rights agreement.
B of A must renegotiate the deal because Delaware North's original contract with Shawmut National Corp. …