“It seems like a strange deal,” said Darren Marshall, EVP of Consulting and Research at rEvolution, a sports marketing and media company. “Naming rights deals are normally done where there is a strong home town factor like Target and Minnesota or Coors Field and Denver. True, Hard Rock is owned by the Seminole Tribe as of 2007 (and HQ has been in Orlando since) but its roots are English. In my opinion, people still view them as a British origin chain, especially the restaurants, which makes it strange. The other reason folks do it is for a new brand name or rebranding to get exposure, but again not a factor.”

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