Economic Growth and Innovation Newsroom


Louisville Downtown Arena Officially Becomes KFC Yum! Center

Monday April 19, 2010

It’s official. Yum! Brands, a prominent, global corporation proud of its Louisville roots and extensive community involvement will stamp its name on the city’s newest addition. Effective immediately, KFC Yum! Center will be the new name for the 721,000 square-foot, downtown arena slated to open on time this fall.

The $13.5 million, 10 year agreement is between Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM) and Team Services, LLC, a leading naming rights agency that was retained by the Louisville Arena Authority (LAA) to market this exclusive opportunity. It includes a right of first negotiation to extend the agreement for five years beyond the 10 year agreement if both parties agree in the eighth year.

“We are absolutely thrilled to unveil our new arena name, KFC Yum! Center,” said Jim Host, Chair of the Louisville Arena Authority. “We have been patient throughout this process, knowing the excitement was building for this particular day when we could announce which company would capitalize on this marquee naming rights partnership. We are deeply appreciative of Team Services’ efforts in culminating the naming rights transaction with Yum! Brands.”

In exchange for its naming rights investment, Yum! Brands, Inc. is afforded the opportunity to have prominent exterior signage positions, including overlooking the Ohio River, as well as a position on the arena roof.

“Yum! Brands is extremely proud that Louisville’s newest and most spectacular venue will be named the KFC Yum! Center,” said David Novak, Chairman and CEO, Yum! Brands, Inc. “As the world’s largest restaurant company based in Louisville, with 1,400 local employees, we have always been committed to investing in our own hometown. Since 1997, when we became a public company, we have donated nearly $35 million to over 100 non-profit organizations, from the arts to education, to social service agencies such as Metro United Way, Juvenile Diabetes, Dare to Care Food Bank, The Muhammad Ali Center and many, many more. The KFC Yum! Center is another great way for us to give back to the community and make it a great place for our employees and their families,” said Novak.

There will be seven different restaurant concession areas where guests can purchase KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut products, which will vary depending on the event being held at the Center. Yum! Brands will enjoy other benefits such as a double center court suite, digital messaging rights, an interior signage package and premium hospitality options.

“This is a tremendous day for our commonwealth and our city as we announce that Yum! Brands, a high-caliber, Kentucky-based company, is adding its name to our outstanding new Louisville landmark,” said Mayor Abramson. “We could not be more proud of this partnership as the arena gets ready to open its doors in a few short months.”

In addition to championship-caliber collegiate athletics, the KFC Yum! Center will play host a variety of top concerts and family events, effectively ushering in a new era of entertainment in the region.

Coupled with Team Services’ efforts in landing a naming rights partner for the arena, Louisville Arena Sports and Entertainment Properties (LASEP) is the local entity overseeing the arena’s advertising and sponsorship sales initiatives.

Our directive from the Arena Authority from the outset was to find the ideal partner for the arena name entitlement,” said E.J. Narcise, Principal, Team Services, LLC. “Together with Yum! Brands we have crafted a ‘partnership platform’ that will allow the community to be the true benefactor of this relationship. The opportunity to bring together two of Louisville's iconic brands, U of L Basketball and YUM! is very special.”

To date, Team Services and LASEP, a property of Learfield Sports, are responsible for generating a total of more than $37.5 million in arena sponsorships and naming rights.

For more information, please visit www.arenaauthority.com.

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Learfield Sports is a collegiate multimedia rights holder that has rights relationships with more than 50 institutions and associations. Team Services, LLC is a Learfield Sports company that specializes in venue naming rights, marketing research and sales consultation. For additional information about the company, its history and properties, visit learfieldsports.com.

Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Ky., is the world’s largest restaurant company in terms of system restaurants with more than 37,000 restaurants in more than 110 countries and territories. The company is ranked #239 on the Fortune 500 List, with revenues of nearly $11 billion in 2009. Four of the company’s restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver’s and Taco Bell – are the global leaders of the chicken, quick–service seafood, pizza and Mexican–style food categories. KFC Corporation, based in Louisville, Ky., had 5,162 units in the U.S. as of the end of 2009 and specializes in Original Recipe®, Extra Crispy™, Kentucky Grilled Chicken® and Original Recipe Strips with home-style sides, Honey BBQ Wings, and freshly made chicken sandwiches. Outside the United States, Yum! Brands system opened more than four new restaurants each day of the year, making it a leader in international retail development.

Yum! Brands has been committed to the Louisville community since 1997 when the company was first created and has contributed nearly $35 million to more than 100 non-profit agencies since then. In addition to the KFC Yum! Center, Yum! is the presenting sponsor of the Kentucky Derby, a major supporter of the Muhammad Ali Center, the primary partner for Dare to Care Food Bank and a top supporter of the Fund for the Arts, plus the University of Louisville, Metro United Way and the African American Heritage Foundation Center among many others. Yum! Brands associates serve on over 100 non-profit boards, donating more than 100,000 hours of volunteer service annually.