Blazers President, McGowan, hopes to sell naming rights to RG within year

Blazers President, McGowan, hopes to sell naming rights to RG within year
November 14, 2012, 6:04 pm
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ChrisHaynes, CSNNW.com NBA & Trail Blazers Insider

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Fridaywas officially Chris McGowan's last day as ChiefOperating Officer of AEG and with only two days into his newposition as Portland Trail Blazers' President and CEO, he hascompiled a laundry list of localbusinesses to target for naming rights of the Rose Garden, the firststep in securing an agreement which could net the franchise 2-3million annually in additional revenue.

McGowansaid he expects to complete a naming rights deal with a local companyby late 2013, calling the task one of his top priorities.

I'malways optimistic. I think it can be done in 12 months, McGowantold CSNNW.com. There's a lot of potential partners out there.This is a good market, with a great fan base, and a first-classbuilding. It's an attractive property for someone to put their nameon. It's one of my top priorities.

Sellingthe naming rights to the arena, McGowan said, could omit the nameRose Garden. Though, McGowan said it is soley contingent on thebuyer on whether they choose to include it or not.

TheRose Garden is one of the few NBA arenas without a naming rightsdeal. The team has tried repeatedly in the past to secure one, butalways hit a snag for any number of reasons. McGowan considers theRose Garden an elite facility and thinks he will have no problemselling that vision to potential suitors.

"It'san attractive property for someone to put their name on, McGowansaid. I know thereare still businesses out there in this market that would be a greatfit for us. I have a list already and we'll go from there.

TheTrail Blazers' sellout streak at the Rose Garden ended at 195 gameson Monday when the Trail Blazers lost to the Atlanta Hawks 95-87 ironically, it was McGowan's first day on the job.

Thoughthe streak ended, McGowan was still impressed with the turnout.

Iwas surprised, I expected it to be a little less full than it was,"he said. "We'll probably have a couple more nights like that,but you move on and try to make improvements so there aren't manynights like that.

BeforeMcGowan's arrival, in an effort to keep the seats filled, the TrailBlazers offered a Groupon deal. For40 (300 level) and 80 (100 level), fans could have purchased twotickets, two hot dogs and two 32-ounce soft drinks at the followinggames:

Nov. 8(L.A. Clippers)

Nov.10 (San Antonio)

Nov.12 (Atlanta)

Nov.16 (Houston)

Dec.13 (San Antonio)

Dec.20 (Denver)

McGowansays he's not opposed to going the Groupon route in the future, butadds that he's reluctant to abuse it.

Wewant to be promotion-friendly to get our product out and we're opento Groupon, but we don't want to over do it, McGowan said. Wemust have selectivity if some of our inventory becomes available. Wealso want to insure that our season ticket holders are being takencare of.

Withoutan offseason to strategize and come up with a marketing plan, McGowanis forced to complete this task during the season and some entailmodernizing the arena and attracting more outside events.

McGowan,though, says he welcomes the challenges.

"Ibasically want to take all areas of business and improve on it. It'snot in bad shape, I just want to make it better. Myfocus is maintaining the standards, maintaining the building, sellingout, modernizing it and making it more efficient.

It'sa large organization. It's been a tough day and a half. I want togenerate a little more, provide value to ticket season holders, getmore events in the Rose Garden. I basically want to take all areas ofbusiness and improve on it. It's not in bad shape, I just want tomake it better.