Amid screeching tires from an Indy Car driven by Danica Patrick, booming pyrotechnics and colorful confetti, Southern California's premier entertainment and sports venue became Honda Center today.
The name change was made official by executives from Anaheim Arena Management, LLC (AAM), the management company of Honda Center, and American Honda Motor Co., Inc. during a ceremony in the arena parking lot. Danica Patrick, 2005 IndyCar Rookie of the Year and driver of the #16 Rahal Letterman Dallara Honda, made a stunning entrance in her IRL race car. At the podium were Henry and Susan Samueli, owners of AAM and the Anaheim Ducks; arena President and CEO Tim Ryan; American Honda Senior Vice President, Auto Operations John Mendel and Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle.
"We are thrilled to welcome American Honda Motor Company into our family and to have their name on our first-class venue," said Ryan. "As a long-time member of the Southern California community, Honda will be a tremendous partner. Honda is dedicated to supporting our community, our fans and our vision of hosting simply the best in sports and entertainment."
The arena naming-rights deal is the first such agreement for Honda and the first name change for the 13-year-old venue. The agreement, which has an initial term of 15 years with the opportunity for a 10-year extension, was originally announced on July 19 by AAM and Honda.
"This amazing venue is in Honda's very own backyard, where our associates work, live and play, and it is an important sales market for us," said Mendel. "The naming of Honda Center grants us the opportunity to increase Honda's involvement with the community that has welcomed us with open arms for more than 40 years."
Unveiled today during the fanfare was a Honda Center logo on the southeast corner of the arena, measuring approximately 74.5 feet wide by 20 feet tall. It is one of four corner signs that will be visible to passengers traveling in more than 95 million cars annually on Katella Avenue and the Orange Freeway (57). (Source: CalTrans and City of Anaheim) From the air, a Honda Center sign measuring approximately 157 feet wide and 24 feet tall will be visible on the roof of the arena. All signs will be illuminated at night.
The logo features the red corporate "Honda" logo and the word "Center" in gray.
In addition to the building signage, fans will notice Honda product displays at events, branding on the two arena marquees, in-arena graphics on the video boards and a new web site at www.hondacenter.com.
Fans will also benefit from the new partnership with promotions at events and in the local marketplace.
"One lucky fan will win a 2007 Honda Element at the Anaheim Ducks season opener on October 6 when we face our crosstown rivals, the LA Kings," said Ryan. "This is just the beginning of creative ideas that we are discussing with Honda."
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, per company policy for both AAM and Honda.
This is the second big change for the arena this year, as the Mighty Ducks became the Anaheim Ducks on June 22 and unveiled a new logo and new colors.
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About Honda Center
Honda Center is the premier entertainment and sports venue in Southern California. Owned by the City of Anaheim and operated by Anaheim Arena Management, LLC, the arena opened in June of 1993. The National Hockey League's Anaheim Ducks have called the arena home since their inaugural season in the fall of 1993. In addition to Ducks games each year, Honda Center hosts sporting events such as the annual John R. Wooden Classic and Professional Bull Riders, concerts by top performers including U2, Paul McCartney and the Eagles, and family shows like Stars On Ice, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and the Harlem Globetrotters.
About American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Honda is one of the world's leading producers of mobility products including its diverse line-up of automobiles, motorcycles and ATVs, power products, marine engines and personal watercraft. Honda is the world's preeminent engine-maker, with annual worldwide production of more than 21 million engines. Honda began operations in North America in 1959 with the establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda's first overseas subsidiary. Honda now employs more than 28,000 Americans in the design, manufacture and marketing of its products in America. Honda currently builds products in 14 manufacturing plants in North America, with three major R&D centers in the U.S.