Following Jeff Bezos' Lead, David Beckham's Inter Miami Names Stadium After A Cause, Not A Company
David Beckham's Major League Soccer team, Inter Miami, is still negotiating with the city of Miami over a site where it can build a permanent stadium to play its games, but so far the team has been making do in Fort Lauderdale.
Last year, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the team kicked off its inaugural season there in a brand-new 18,000-seat stadium that will remain its permanent training facility.
On Friday, the soccer club and car dealer AutoNation announced a three-year deal that will rename the Fort Lauderdale facility DRV PNK Stadium, after AutoNation's ongoing charity commitment to fight cancer.
The branding dovetails since breast cancer is associated with the color pink and Inter Miami's team colors are pink and black.
Jorge Mas, chairman of infrastructure construction firm MasTec and managing owner of the group that, with Beckham, owns Inter Miami, told the Miami Herald he was inspired by Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena.
Last summer, Amazon bought the naming rights to that arena, formerly known as Seattle Center and Key Arena, and named it after the climate cause rather than the company.
According to ESPN, that decision was made by Jeff Bezos, who told colleagues, "I don't need any more branding. What I need is to go save the planet."
Climate Pledge Arena aims to achieve net-zero carbon certification from the International Living Future Institute. Planned features include ice rinks made with recaptured rainwater, events with zero waste — a detail that singer Billie Eilish inspired — concessions selling food from local farmers and all-electric operations.
“To name the stadium DRV PNK, it fits our color scheme, but more importantly it’s about values, being able to bring attention to a cause that’s going to change lives," Mas said. "I found the Climate Change Arena a fascinating way to get out a message. That’s the type of thing we want to do here. We have a global platform to talk about Drive Pink and breast cancer awareness. It was a perfect fit.”
Both AutoNation and the team will make a donation to cancer research every time an Inter Miami goalkeeper makes a save. AutoNation will donate $100K when Inter Miami shuts out an opposing team.
Inter Miami will kick off its season on April 18, with attendance limited to 8,000 fans. Mas said that hopefully attendance can be doubled by the end of May.
He also said that the team would play its games in Fort Lauderdale for at least three years.