At a Hawks event earlier this month, in which renovations to the arena were discussed, CEO Steve Koonin did not refer to the building as Philips Arena specifically.
“We are honored to work with State Farm, one of the nation’s most recognizable and civic-minded organizations and want to thank Michael Tipsord and Rand Harbert for their leadership and commitment to this exceptional collaboration,” said Principal Owner Tony Ressler in a statement. “Our ownership group considers the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club a community asset, and we are excited to have found a partner that shares our vision and has committed to working with us to expand on the community engagement and philanthropic initiatives we do that benefit the many communities that make up this great metropolitan area. Generations will be positively impacted by the work we do throughout Georgia, and we could not be prouder to have the State Farm name on our new arena.”
Philips largely exited the consumer electronics business in 2013 and has transitioned to a health technology and lighting company with less need for an expensive sports naming-rights deal. The Hawks and Philips signed a 20-year, $185-million deal before the arena opened in 1999. It was among the largest naming-rights deals in U.S. sports at the time, and 19 years later it remains an upper-echelon deal for the Hawks.
- AJC staff writer Tim Tucker contributed to this article.