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Salt Lake City Market Report: Coyotes’ Rumored Arrival Spells Good News for Regional Brands

April 18, 2024

The Arizona Coyotes have spurred a flurry of headlines in recent days as conversations stir with rumors of a pending relocation for the NHL franchise. Salt Lake City's sports tycoon, Ryan Smith, is poised to acquire the Coyotes, with speculation mounting that the owner of the Utah Jazz and MLS’ Real Salt Lake will bring the NHL team to SLC. This blockbuster move is not only exciting news for hockey fans but also presents a potential economic boon for Utah’s capital city, known for its tech scene—billionaire Smith co-founded the local cloud computing company Qualtrics—and vibrant sports culture.

Bob Lynch, our Founder & CEO noted that “the Arizona Coyotes’ move to Salt Lake City represents a prime opportunity for the NHL, as it’s an ideal market to support a pro hockey franchise. Should the Coyotes replicate the performance of the Utah Jazz and Real Salt Lake, the team could see a windfall of $110-175 million in incremental sponsorship revenue over the next five years, fueled by new sponsorship ventures with local brand partners and the sale of venue naming rights."

Local sponsorships play a critical role in pro sports teams’ successful integration into new markets. The Seattle Kraken's 2021 inaugural season—while an NHL expansion team and not a relocation—saw more than half of its sponsors hail from the Pacific Northwest; other local brands subsequently followed suit, including Amazon—naming rights partner for the team’s Climate Pledge Arena, which opened in October 2021—and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, which became the Kraken’s first-ever jersey patch partner last September. Meanwhile, the Las Vegas Raiders—formerly the Oakland Raiders until January 2020—saw 25% of their sponsors local to Sin City upon relocation to their adopted home, including MGM Resorts International and Allegiant Air, naming rights sponsor of the team’s Allegiant Stadium.

Expect the Coyotes to also tap into Salt Lake City’s robust network of local brands upon arrival. According to our data, prominent brands like Zions Bank, America First Credit Union, and office technology provider, the Les Olson Company—which currently have the most sponsorships in the market—are all top-tier candidates to join forces with the team. 

With the Coyotes' departure from Arizona, what will be a loss for local brands, will undoubtedly be a gain for SLC based brands. Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona are currently the team’s hospital and insurance partners, respectively. University of Utah Health, which currently sponsors nine properties in the SLC market, or Intermountain Healthcare, could further grow their partnership portfolios by inking a deal with the franchise. On the insurance side, WCF Insurance, which already has deals with seven rights holders including the Jazz, Utah Utes, and Real Salt Lake—three of the larger rights holders in the market—could take a commanding lead by partnering with the Coyotes post-move.

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