New England Patriots to Call CMGI Field Home

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CMGI Inc. yesterday became the latest technology-based firm to purchase name rights to a sports stadium when it signed an exclusive marketing agreement with the New England Patriots.

The 15-year deal calls for CMGI to pay $7.6 million annually for the first 10 years, with adjustments in years 11 through 15. The National Football League team recently began construction on a new stadium, and the first payment is not due until the facility gets ready to open in January 2002.

However, the Patriots and its sister company, Major League Soccer team New England Revolution, will begin referring to their future home as CMGI Field immediately.

CMGI, Andover, MA, stands to benefit from a formidable amount of publicity generated during local, national and international broadcasts of games and news for both teams. The Patriots will draw most of the audience, since more than 100 million television viewers watch NFL football during a typical fall Sunday.

The stadium name also will draw considerable attention locally, as Boston is the sixth largest media market in the United States when including surrounding areas in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

CMGI will have promotional signage rights throughout the facility for Patriots and Revolution games. Both teams are owned by the Robert Kraft family and are headquartered in the Boston area.

According to a release, CMGI will have additional rights to some of the Patriots' "larger marketing and advertising properties."

CMGI, parent firm of such Internet-related companies as AltaVista and iCast, joins Qualcomm, PSINet, 3Com, PacBell and Ericsson as hi-tech companies that have purchased stadium sponsorships from professional teams in recent years.

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