Petco Sold to Foreign Investors, No Name Change Planned

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The namesake of the Padres home ballpark will be sold to foreign investors for $4.6B, according to multiple news outlets. At this time the company does not have plans to change any of the branding associated with the company as a whole or the Padres stadium.

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When Petco announced its naming rights deal with the City of San Diego for the downtown stadium, many saw it as a vast overpayment. They paid $60M over 22 years after all to have their name emblazoned on the side of the brand new stadium for a team that hadn’t been the playoffs since 1998.

Of course, since Petco first purchased those rights, the naming rights game has only increased. In 2009, CitiGroup announced a deal to pay about $21M a season for the New York Mets new ballpark. A large part of the difference of course is the difference between the markets of New York (21M) and San Diego (3M).

While impossible to know exactly how a deal like this can be measured from an ROI standpoint, it certainly can’t hurt to boost the companies’ profile in the bitter pet supply wars. Last year Petco and rival Petsmart nearly announced a merger of the companies between anti-trust concerns halted the deal. Recently Petsmart announced that it was bought by a large foreign investment firm and now Petco will go the same route.

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The company does plan to remain in San Diego, which seems to mean that the naming rights deal will stay in place. However, if the company were to move away from America’s Finest City, would that mean another bid for naming rights? Or perhaps just Padres Stadium?

Until then we’ll put up with the beautiful stadium with the funny name as Petco Park gears up to host it’s first All Star Game this summer.

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