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Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Barclays Center, Levi’s Stadium, Golden 1 Center, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Hard Rock Stadium—any sports fan or concert-goer can rattle off these names as venues of spectacular games and top-notch musical performances. But do they know what is behind those names? The answer is naming rights transactions, which are increasingly popular thanks to their unique intersection of advertising, promotional opportunities, and headline-grabbing financial terms.

To the average observer, a naming rights transaction begins and ends with putting a company’s name on the side of a building or stadium—nothing more. In reality, that is only a small portion of every naming rights deal. In fact, each agreement can be thought of as a sponsorship transaction with the added element of naming. Depending on the magnitude of the transaction, a naming rights agreement will include a wide variety of marketing elements, including sponsorships, ads, television spots, integrated technology, and other promotions. All of these elements have brought naming rights transactions back into vogue for sports leagues and franchises after the market cooled down following the economic recession in 2008.

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