After more than two decades with the sponsor, the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami is about to undergo a name change.
The airline has sponsored the arena, home of the Miami Heat, since 1999. However, the airline is reportedly no longer ‘in the mix’ as the arena seeks a new sponsor and a new naming-rights deal for 2020.
And while many of us sit back and hope the name will be changed to Arena-y McArena Face, it seems another world-renowned company, also famous for their friendly cabin crew, are after the naming-rights to the home of Miami Heat.
Alexis Aran Coello, communications manager for American Airlines, told the Miami Herald:
American Airlines is proud to call Miami home. We are not seeking to renew naming rights for the arena, but remain the official airline of the Miami Heat and continue to invest in programs that support the community, where 13,500 American team members live and work.
We wish Miami-Dade County well in their search for a new sponsor.
AmericanAirlines Arena apparently will be getting a new name by next year. Miami Dade deputy mayor Ed Marquez told Miami Today that the airline is no longer in the mix to keep its name on the Heat's arena.
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) September 11, 2019
So who’s after the naming rights? Namely, BangBros, the self-proclaimed ‘world’s best porn site’.
The company has reportedly submitted a $10 million bid for the naming rights, aiming to rename the stadium to the BangBros Centre, shortened to ‘The BBC’.
In a statement, the porn company wrote:
Miami is known for many things – South Beach, beautiful women, and sports teams like the professional NBA team the Miami Heat. Miami is also known for BangBros. So it makes sense to pair up winning programs like the Miami Heat and BangBros for a sponsorship opportunity, naming the home arena they play in.
Hoping to help the team throw their balls around and score, BangBros added: ‘BangBros feels they need to show their support for the next wave of winning to come and give back to the city that’s treated them so well.’
The statement continued:
Both the Heat and BangBros have become staples of the city, with huge fans of each. It doesn’t get much more Miami than having the arena sponsored by Bangbros.
We've officially Submitted our $10,000,000 bid for the naming rights to the Miami Heat Arena. We wish to thank American Airlines for their past support of the @MiamiHEAT We intend to change the name to the BangBros Center aka 'The BBC' #BangBrosCares pic.twitter.com/YbhNattIm7
— BANGBROSOFFICIAL (@BangBrosDotCom1) September 12, 2019
Too late for an April Fools? It seems the bid is actually real, even if it is all one big publicity stunt.
I just confirmed this is indeed a real thing — a bid was submitted. They want a nickname of “The BBC.” https://t.co/pyEovWTbdX
— Jessica Kleinschmidt (@KleinschmidtJD) September 12, 2019
While it would be both pretty funny and highly disturbing to hear announcers say things like ‘Live from the BangBros Centre!’, or visitors announcing their excitement to experience ‘the BBC for the first time’, it’d be hard to imagine an NBA team promoting itself with a porn company, no matter how wholesome they claim their content to be.
Still, A+ for effort.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.