Germain Arena — the home of the Florida Everblades — is making some big changes.
A new name and, potentially, new paint.
Craig Brush, the President and General Manager of Florida Everblades, said that his company and Hertz Corporation began discussion over a year ago, with it becoming more serious in the last six months about new sponsorship.
The contract with Germain Automotive Group, which currently sponsors the arena, expires in Aug. 2019.
“We were pretty sure they didn’t want to renew once it came up,” Brush said. "It’s not unusual. Corporate partners needs change. In Germain’s case, we had a tremendous relationship with them over the years.”
The new contract is with the Hertz Corporation, which is a global car rental company that moved its headquarters to Estero over three years ago.
Brush said It is normal for arena advertisers to change.
“Typically, name changes occur once every 20 years,” Brush said. “The Cypress Club is going to change it’s name, and a lot of them I think we want to keep under wraps until the first game of the season." The Big Cypress Club is cocktail lounge within Germain Arena, and a $200 per season club membership venue for Everblades season ticket holders.
The first game is a month away, on Oct. 19.
The Hertz Corporation within five miles from Germain Arena.
“We hope to learn a lot from them, and to partner with them, and create the synergies we perhaps didn’t have before, that we will have going forward,” Brush said. He expects Hertz Corporation will expose the arena to more big market special events with the prominent name recognition.
The exterior of the building may become Hertz yellow, but the decision is in the hands of the Village of Estero. The decision will be made at their Sept. 26 meeting.
“If the decision is to approve, we call the painters," Brush said.
How much Hertz paid for naming rights, who gets the money, and what it's spent on is being kept confidential, Brush said.
Humans of SWFL are not keeping their opinions confidential.
"So proud of my company," Steph Rhodes said, 69, who is Salesforce administrator for the Hertz Corporation. "This is a big deal here in SW Florida. Not too many Fortune 500 companies here. Nice that Hertz invests in our community. And they use Salesforce!
Another person has expressed her opinion on Twitter following the announcement:
Yuk! Hertz wants to paint Germaine Arena yellow??!! A big mustard jar.
— Crys McBride (@wolflady61) September 19, 2018