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Guaranteed Rate Field to become home of Chicago White Sox

Mortgage lender buys naming rights for stadium

For the last 13 years, the Chicago White Sox played their games at U.S. Cellular Field, but beginning next year and for the next 12 after that, the White Sox stadium will have a new name – Guaranteed Rate Field.

On Wednesday, the White Sox and Guaranteed Rate announced that the Chicago-based mortgage lender is buying the White Sox stadium’s naming rights for at least the next 13 years.

The name change becomes official on Nov. 1, 2016, the team and lender said Wednesday.

According to a release from the team, the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, the owner and operator of the ballpark, approved the name change at a meeting of its board on Wednesday afternoon.

The team said that it retains an option under the team's lease for the ballpark, which if exercised, could extend this naming rights deal an additional year through 2030.

In addition to having its name adorning the White Sox stadium, Guaranteed Rate will also become the official mortgage and title company of the White Sox, the team said.

Additionally, the White Sox and Guaranteed Rate agreed on “sponsorship elements” associated with White Sox baseball, which include “various branding, promotional and hospitality benefits, along with joint marketing opportunities.”

Financial terms of the deal were not initially disclosed, although the press release may provide a small clue into how much Guaranteed Rate is paying for the stadium naming rights.

The press release notes that upon the completion of existing naming rights payments to the White Sox, ISFA will receive “all incremental naming rights revenue” from this new agreement with Guaranteed Rate.

And according to Manny Sanchez, the chairman of ISFA, the new agreement could generate as much as $6.4 million per year in revenue.

“We are pleased to find, in Guaranteed Rate, a new naming rights partner founded in Chicago by Chicagoans, which shares our commitment to the city and to our fans,” said Jerry Reinsdorf, chairman of the White Sox. “We view this partnership as an opportunity to connect a successful Chicago business with a historic baseball franchise, and we look forward to growing this important relationship over the coming years as millions of fans enjoy White Sox baseball at Guaranteed Rate Field.”

Guaranteed Rate joins Quicken Loans as one of the select few companies in the mortgage business that can afford to (or choose to) have their company name on a stadium or arena, a fact that the company is quite pleased about.

“We are incredibly excited and honored to be part of the White Sox family,” said Victor Ciardelli, president & CEO of Guaranteed Rate.

“It really is a dream come true to have the Guaranteed Rate name on a hometown Chicago ballpark,” Ciardelli added. “We love this city and its baseball fans, and couldn't be happier to partner with an iconic team and a legendary owner in Jerry Reinsdorf. We look forward to many great years of White Sox baseball at Guaranteed Rate Field.”

(Image above courtesy of Ffooter / Shutterstock.com)

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