Cobo Center, Detroit’s legacy convention center and also one of the largest convention centers in the U.S., had recently undergone a $279 million renovation, while the city of Detroit was simultaneously experiencing a historic renaissance. Additionally, the operating subsidy that Cobo Center receives from the State of Michigan will terminate in 2024. The facility’s leadership team proactively decided to sell naming rights to the venue and other sponsorship positions, an underutilized strategy amongst convention center operators, in order to generate a revenue stream that would partially offset the loss of the state subsidy in the future, while also capitalizing on the recent renovations and Detroit’s resurgence.
Connect Partnership Group teamed up with The Fulkerson Group, a leading Detroit-based sponsorship representation agency, to earn the opportunity to sell naming rights to Cobo Center. Each agency brought different skill sets, experience and relationships to the partnership, working together seamlessly with the client to market and sell a landmark naming rights agreement.
Chemical Bank, the largest banking company headquartered in Michigan, was pursuing an expansion strategy that included investing in and supporting Detroit’s resurgence, while also establishing a major presence in downtown Detroit. In addition to moving the company’s headquarters downtown, naming rights to Cobo Center offered a strategic platform to cement Chemical Bank’s position in the region. Connect and The Fulkerson Group collaborated with the client and Chemical Bank to develop a strategic naming rights partnership that delivered on both parties’ objectives.