ARLINGTON -- The Ballpark in Arlington is now called Globe Life Park in Arlington.
In what is expected to be a major new source of revenue, the Rangers announced a naming rights deal for their park at a news conference on Wednesday morning. Financial terms were not announced, but Joe Januszewski, the Rangers' executive vice president of business partnerships & development, said it is among the best deals in history to be procured for the naming rights of a baseball facility.
"Looking at the deals done, I'd put us in the top two of any ballpark in baseball," said Januszewski, who led a three-year search for a naming rights partner that really grew in earnest over the past six to eight months.
"This is another long-term sustainable cash flow that will enable us to be competitive in the long term," Rangers co-owner Ray Davis said. "Your turnstile revenue is variable depending on how your team is doing on the field. But when you have long-term sustainable income over 10 years, you're able to make better decisions."
Davis said this deal will help the Rangers over the long term, but it is not expected to have a significant impact this winter.
"I think we already spent that [money]," Davis said.
The Globe Life and Accident Insurance Company provides life and health insurance nationwide, with executive offices based in Oklahoma City. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Torchmark Corporation, which is based in McKinney, Texas, north of Dallas. The company has approximately 3.9 million policy holders representing over $60 billion in insurance.
"We're honored to partner with the Texas Rangers, and we're excited to see the Globe Life name on this beautiful facility," Globe Life president Bill Leavell said.
In addition to the naming rights, Globe Life is also planning to make a substantial commitment to local youth baseball and softball programs through a grant partnership program with the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation.
"That was one of the significant pros of this deal," Januszewski said. "These folks made it clear this was not an advertising ploy, but they wanted to be ingrained in the community. The revenue is important, but also important is the quality of people and the quality of the company. To that end, it was important to have someone who shares our values of our Foundation and the efforts in the community."
The new name is expected to be included around the park by Opening Day. Part of the deal was to retain the city of Arlington within the name.
"Arlington has been an excellent partner, and we are in Arlington," Davis said. "We wanted to honor that. There has been 20 years of history here, we don't want to forget our history."
The Rangers' current ownership group took charge of the club in 2010 and immediately began looking for a naming rights partner. Januszewski said they approached "hundreds of companies" during the search, including some based in Texas, some national and some multinational companies. He said the search was narrowed down to three before the deal with Globe Life was completed last week. Januszewski did not name the other two companies, but one was based in Texas and the other was international.
"Each of them had great offers and were unique companies," Januszewski said. "There were a lot of pro's. At the end of the day, we felt really good about partnering with this company."
Globe Life Park was opened as the Ballpark in Arlington in 1994. In 2004, the name was changed to Ameriquest Field in Arlington, but that only lasted three years. The official name was changed to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in '07 after Ameriquest Mortgage was shut down during the country-wide financial crisis.
The Rangers were one of 10 clubs that had not sold the rights to the name of their ballpark until the new deal was announced. The remaining nine are Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Dodger Stadium, Fenway Park, Marlins Park, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Kauffman Stadium, Wrigley Field, Yankee Stadium and Nationals Park.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.