In updates that will make your inner child sad, Staples Center will no longer be called Staples Center by the end of next month. The house that Kobe, Shaq and the Lakers built will instead be renamed the Crypto.com Arena, according to multiple reports:
Hearing that the Staples Center will be renamed for https://t.co/U3pcKszl4I tomorrow as part of a multi-year naming rights deal for the Lakers, Clippers and Kings arena.— Alicia Jessop (@RulingSports) November 17, 2021
The arena’s new logo will debut Dec. 25, when the Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets, and all of the Staples Center signage will be replaced with the new name by June 2022https://t.co/40ovPQJeUS— L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) November 17, 2021
Here's a look at MSG's three-year, $1 billion renovation. It was rolled out over three phases during the Knicks and Rangers' offseason. There's a feeling Staples needs to improve with the opening of the $5 billion SoFi Stadium and $1.2 billion Intuit Dome. https://t.co/Ie7GqCGZhJ— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) November 17, 2021
Staples Center – the iconic home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers among others since 1999 – will have a new name beginning Dec. 25: https://t.co/lur8Hbuv0r Arena. It’s believed to be the largest U.S. venue naming rights deal to date.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 17, 2021
Just how large of a venue naming rights deal? Well, according to Axios.com, in excess of $700 million for a 20-year deal.
Staples was believed to have a lifetime deal to own the arena naming rights, but Axios reports that AEG — the company that owns Staples Center (the Lakers do not own the building) — bought those rights back to pursue a “fresher name” to put on the building:
What no one knew, however, was that AEG was eager to bring in a fresher name. In early 2019 it quietly bought back the naming rights from Staples, which by that point was owned by private equity firm Sycamore Partners.
Crypto.com this past summer heard that AEG was seeking out a new sponsor, and the two sides began hammering out a deal that involves several experiential and philanthropic components.
Every fan is obviously going to have a strong reaction to this, because all of us hate change. It’s just human nature to have an emotional attachment to a name we have so many positive associations with. We’ve watched the Lakers raise six banners since moving to Staples Center. We’ll always remember it by that name.
But ultimately — as dumb as this new name may sound for now, and yes, it sounds really dumb, and this change is really jarring — these are just corporate entities naming a building. The Staples Center we all know, love and grew up around isn’t going away. It’s just being renamed from a soulless corporation that doesn’t care about our fanhood beyond using it to establish brand recognition for reasonably priced office supplies to a new soulless corporation that doesn’t care about our fanhood beyond using it to establish brand recognition for its cryptocurrency offerings. None of that will never take away the memories we established in it, and we’ll all get used to it in a few years.
So long live Staples Center. And welcome, our new crypto overlords. I guess this is the future. Welcome to The Crypt.
Our friends over at @BreakingT have a shirt to commemorate the only thing we will be calling the venue formerly known as Staples Center.— Silver Screen and Roll (@LakersSBN) November 17, 2021
Welcome to The Crypt.https://t.co/mCpijSjCWD pic.twitter.com/c9lChKAw0c
This story will update with more details as it develops.
If you are a PR person, please do not email me about “the latest offerings in crypto” or whatever, I do not care and am just covering this naming rights deal. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.