SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants have been frustrated by the pace of free agent talks this offseason, but when it came time to negotiate a new naming rights deal, they found a partner willing to move quickly.
Oracle and the Giants announced a 20-year naming rights deal on Thursday morning that will rebrand AT&T Park as Oracle Park for the next two decades. Team president and CEO Larry Baer said AT&T informed the Giants they would not be signing a new deal when their rights expired after the 2019 season The Giants were given permission to find a new partner a year early. In about a month, they came to a deal with Oracle, one of the biggest tech companies in the world and one that is based in the Bay Area.
The Giants and Oracle have been partners since 2003, when the suite level at the ballpark was renamed after the company. Oracle has held annual events at the ballpark ever since and the two companies have partnered for community work and the America’s Cup.
“We feel like Oracle is already part of the family,” Baer said. “An agreement of this nature could not happen if we didn’t have this trust and connection that has been moving forward since the better part of 2003.”
While financial terms were not disclosed, Baer said the deal is in line with the top of the market for naming rights. It is believed that the Giants will receive in excess of $300 million from Oracle, a sum that conveniently fits one Bryce Harper but will be spread throughout the organization. Baer said the financial boost will in part go to the roster, but also noted that the Giants continue to make changes to their ballpark and spread resources to upgrade their minor league system.
At Oracle Park, a new scoreboard is expected to be finished in time for the Bay Bridge Series and the field level food court is undergoing a makeover. Following spring training, the Giants will begin making upgrades to Scottsdale Stadium. In 2020, they will redo their spring training minor league facility.
A more immediate concern is making sure the ballpark is fully rebranded by the time the team returns from spring training in late March. Baer said all of that work is expected to be done by Opening Day, with the massive signs that currently say AT&T Park among the first items to be replaced. Freeway signs and street signs will also have to be changed.
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There will be changes across the bridge, too. Mark Hurd, Oracle’s CEO, said his company’s deal with Oracle Arena was a deal with the Warriors themselves, and that naming rights agreement will expire when the Warriors move to San Francisco next fall. Hurd said the Warriors move did not have an impact on negotiations with the Giants.
“That had nothing to do with it. We did this because this makes sense,” he said. “This makes sense for us on a standalone basis.”