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Are naming rights deals worth the money?

Erik Bilstad

Brad Chapin, executive vice president of BMO Harris Bank, poses Monday with the BMO Harris mascot and Bango, the Milwaukee Bucks mascot, as plans were announced for renaming and upgrading the Bradley Center. Photo: Image by Mike Sears

Are naming rights deals worth the money?

CREATED May. 22, 2012

MILWAUKEE - BMO Harris announced this week it had secured a naming rights deal with the Bradley Center.

"We're trying to find ways to make living in Milwaukee a great thing," Executive VP Brad Chapin told us Monday on Wisconsin's Afternoon News.   

The six year deal is worth $18 million. 

Is the deal worth it?

Michael Leeds, an economist at Temple University, has done research on naming rights deals. 

"The bottom line was we found really no evidence of any major impact on a company's profits," Leeds said.  "They do no better than they would with any alternative investment mechanism."

But profitability doesn't appear to be what BMO Harris is expecting.

The Bucks are a huge asset to this community," Chapin said.  "When you support the things that are important to the community, it's hard to find a lot of risk in that."