Northwestern Mutual has bought the naming rights for the club lounge at Fiserv Forum, the Milwaukee Bucks announced Monday.
In addition, the large Milwaukee-based financial services company agreed to hold its annual agents meeting for the next five years at Fiserv Forum.
That announcement wasn’t a surprise – the meeting has been held for years at the Bradley Center, the Bucks’ previous home. The multi-day gathering attracts about 12,000 employees and family members from around the country and is an important piece of the city’s annual convention business.
“Milwaukee is our hometown, and we’re committed to fostering a vibrant community here,” John Schlifske, chairman, president and CEO of Northwestern Mutual, said in a statement.
“Our financial advisers and their families have enjoyed watching the skyline of Milwaukee change in recent years, and we look forward to welcoming them to Fiserv Forum next summer.”
A short history of Fiserv Forum, which has its grand opening on Aug. 26, 2018.
In addition to Northwestern Mutual, other local companies have their names attached to various parts of the new arena, including BMO Harris Bank, West Bend Insurance and Johnson Controls. Fiserv Corp. inked a 25-year agreement for the name to the overall building.
The club lounges are among the most innovative and flexible seating areas at Fiserv Forum.
Located on the west side of the suite level, the space is sold on a per-event basis, primarily for Bucks and Marquette Golden Eagles basketball games. It’s not sold for major concerts because the space is located at the end of the arena used for the stage.
The lounge can be sold as one or more units or as a fully private space accommodating 180 guests, the Bucks said.
The Bucks are delighted that Northwestern Mutual made “two big commitments” to the new arena, said Matt Pazaras, senior vice president of business development and strategy..
“We are a reflection of the companies we work with,” Pazaras said.
Securing the annual conference for Fiserv Forum is especially important to the Bucks, because the team retains all revenue generated in the building and pays for all upkeep. In contrast, the Bradley Center was run by a public body, and the Bucks were a tenant.
The Bucks and Northwestern Mutual are aware that the conference, traditionally held in late July, could face a conflict if Milwaukee is chosen to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Pazaras said. The city is one of three finalists, along with Houston and Miami.
“We’ve already developed contingency plans if the DNC is coming here,” Pazaras said, indicating that the solution would likely be to change the dates of the Northwestern Mutual gathering.
The DNC decision is expected in December or early next year.
The Northwestern Mutual naming rights deal was the first big such announcement since the arena opened at the end of August. The Bucks continue to seek naming rights partners for other parts of the building, including the Panorama Club, the mezzanine club seats and the outdoor plaza.
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