ST. LOUIS — National Car Rental today announced it has secured the naming rights to the new NFL stadium proposed to be built on the north riverfront of downtown St. Louis. The 20-year agreement, signed with the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority (RSA), names the stadium “National Car Rental Field” and calls for an investment of $6.5 million in year one, with a 2 percent annual inflation escalator each year. The investment totals $158 million over 20 years, or an average annual payout of $7.9 million. The deal is contingent on an NFL team playing in the proposed stadium.
The partnership will include interior and exterior signage at the stadium featuring the National brand logo. Renderings can be seen on www.nationalcarrentalfield.com.
“National Car Rental and its target customers are a great match with the NFL and its fan base,” said Patrick T. Farrell, chief marketing and communications officer for Enterprise Holdings, which is the parent company of National Car Rental, as well as the Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Alamo Rent A Car brands. “As we continue to elevate the National Car Rental brand, this venue provides great exposure in a high-profile property with fans who align nicely with our service offering.”
National Car Rental is a premium, internationally recognized brand that serves the daily rental needs of the frequent airport traveler. Today’s announcement follows a series of significant investments Enterprise Holdings has made to strengthen the brand since the company acquired it in 2007. Since 2010, the company has enhanced the brand’s products and services and invested more than $200 million in upgraded facilities, updated trade dress and fleet, a new ad campaign, and a mobile app to allow customers to manage their rentals while they are on the road. These improvements have helped National grow its revenue by more than a third to nearly $2 billion.
“National is a brand with real momentum,” said Farrell, “and we envision ‘National Car Rental Field’ as the next great step forward.”
In addition to marketing the National brand, Enterprise Holdings sees a deeper opportunity as well. “Our company’s roots in St. Louis run very deep,” said Enterprise Holdings President and CEO Pamela M. Nicholson. “We were founded here in 1957, and though we’ve since grown into a global company, our world headquarters are still right here. So, for us, this is about much more than naming a stadium. It’s about playing our part in a historic effort to renew our riverfront, further revive our downtown area and reinforce St. Louis’s standing as a truly great city.”
According to Farrell, the frequent renters who make up National Car Rental’s target customer base index more than 30 points above average for their interest in the NFL. They are also more likely than average consumers to tune into high-profile sporting events. And, from a demographic standpoint, National customers and NFL fans are nearly identical. The NFL is a proven high-value marketing partner that will help National Car Rental drive higher levels of brand awareness and consideration.
Plans for the proposed stadium were unveiled earlier this year by a task force appointed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and co-led by Dave Peacock, former president of Anheuser-Busch, Inc., and St. Louis attorney Bob Blitz. The proposal calls for an open-air, 64,000-seat stadium on the edge of the Mississippi River, just south of the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge, that will deliver a best-in-class experience for NFL football, international soccer, music festivals and community events. In addition, it will feature design elements that will make it ideal as a potential home for a Major League Soccer expansion franchise.
“National Car Rental Field” will also serve as an iconic anchor to the north end of the St. Louis Arch grounds, which will take advantage of the area’s recreational and riverfront amenities, making the new stadium one of the most unique and compelling venues in all of sports.
“Having National Car Rental and Enterprise Holdings on board clearly helps us reinforce the fact that St. Louis is a strong NFL city and a world-class community by any measure,” said Peacock. “We’re certainly not surprised that National and Enterprise Holdings stepped up, but I must say we are very grateful and I know our entire community is extremely appreciative as well. This is a smart business move for National, as the power of the NFL is unlike any in sports. But, it’s also just the latest example of the significant commitment that the company and its owners, the Taylor family, have to the future of St. Louis.”
About National Car Rental
Founded in 1947, National Car Rental is a premium, internationally recognized brand serving the daily rental needs of the frequent airport traveler throughout the world. With National, time-sensitive customers in the United States are able to quickly choose their own vehicles, based upon their advance reservation and requested car class, and then simply drive away from the airport. National – which launched the car rental industry’s first comprehensive frequent-renter program – further expedites the rental process for Emerald Club members by offering counter bypass as well as access to National’s “Emerald Aisle,” an exclusive section of the lot where members can select any vehicle as long as they reserve a midsize car. In addition, Emerald Club members can choose to receive EmeraldAlertsSM – emailed communications that include Arrival and Return Alerts, and Drop & GoSM service with convenient eReceipts. St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings, through its regional subsidiaries, operates the National Car Rental, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Alamo Rent A Car brands. For more information about National, visit www.nationalcar.com or www.facebook.com/NationalCarRental and follow @NationalPro on Twitter.