Jun 20, 2009 at 03:36 PM
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Giants/Jets Get Back to the Basics: Time and Healthcare

With the meltdown of heavyweight sports spenders from the financial, auto and airline sectors; it would seems that both the Giants and Jets have been busy winning the "small" (more reasonable) battles, but biding their time for the big prize - naming rights to the new stadium.

MetLife, Verizon and Anheuser-Busch have already agreed to sponsor three of the new stadium's "cornerstones" - with the fourth hoping to be sold by year's end. However, the stadium's naming rights are still up for grabs and according to Giants president John Mara the clock won't be a factor in that negotiation. "I think it is more important to have the right deal, so if it means having to wait beyond the opening of the building, we'll do that," Mara recently said. Given the uncertainty around the stadium's naming rights, both teams went to work on the practice fields this past week.

For a reported $35 million over 15 years, Timex has agreed to put their name on the Giants new indoor practice facility (which should come in handy since it's been raining here for the better part of the past two months). Nevermind that Newsday reports that the clocks are wrong at the Giants practice facility and the team's star quarterback has an existing endorsement deal with competitor, Citizen Watches. The deal also provides the 59-year old watch brand with the en vogue PJP (practice jersey patch), digital "countdown to kickoff clocks" throughout the new stadium and in-game branding via "Timex Timeouts."

Not to be outdone across town, the Jets who already have a 12-year deal in place with Atlantic Healthcare for naming rights to their practice facility also sold the practice jersey patch to the same New Jersey-based health care provider, joining the Giants, Broncos, Lions, Packers, Texans and Titans in this latest NFL trend. The Jets also recently cut a deal with the New Jersey state lottery that could net $1 million per year for the team.

There's a lot of pressure for what could be the biggest naming rights deal in history and while the naming rights for the new stadium were reportedly close to being sold to Allianz for a reported $25-30 million/year last Fall, the Giants/Jets best negotiating strategy may be to keep their eye off the countdown to kickoff clock altogether.

Giants co-Owner Steve Tisch recently told the NY Daily News: "It's a challenging time. It's a matter of patience, pursuit and timing."