NY firm to sell Sports Authority IP and stadium naming rights in Denver
According to the Denver Business Journal (DBJ), Hilco Streambank, a New York-based firm, has been hired to sell off the intellectual property (IP) of bankrupt sports retailer Sports Authority, including the naming rights for the Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos' stadium, Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Other IP on the block will be the company’s website domain name, customer databases, patents and brand names within the company including Ram Golf, Tommy Armour Golf, Alpine Design, Bodykit by Sports Authority and more. The DBJ indicated that bids on the entirety of the IP portfolio and other company assets will be accepted through June 23rd.
The stadium naming rights, however, could hit a snag as the stadium’s manager, the Metropolitan Football Stadium District, said that those naming rights cannot be transferred without approval. Matt Sugar, director of stadium affairs for the district, told the DBJ that they “would want to look at ... our [proposed] partner, so to speak, to make a determination" on the right path forward after the June 23rd bidding deadline.
A couple of companies, Native Roots and O.PenVape, both marijuana-based (recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado) have expressed interest — though league rules will likely prohibit moving forward with them.
"We are very serious," Rhett Jordan, Native Roots co-founder told Denver's KCNC-TV in April. "We've always been huge fans of the Broncos, we felt like this was a great opportunity to bring two brilliant brands together.”
O.PenVape took it one step further by submitting a proposal to the stadium district for naming rights in May.
"Our company produces much more than innovative vape pens," O.pen Vape COO, Jeremy Heidl said in a press release. "We intend to drive awareness around the use of CBD (Cannabidol, a cannabis compound) products as an alternative treatment for pain and other medical conditions, an issue specifically relevant to the (National Football League) NFL." Use of the medical version of marijuana has become a hot topic in the NFL, with several current and former players advocating its use to combat pain, as opposed to opioids, which are addictive and in prevalent use in the league.
The Sports Authority deal was $150m over 25 years with the Broncos and the new naming partner will be the third for the new Broncos stadium, which opened in September 2001.