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Falcons officially announce Mercedes-Benz as naming rights partner

The Atlanta Falcons’ new stadium officially got a name today: Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank announced, as expected, that Mercedes-Benz, a corporate newcomer to metro Atlanta, has bought the naming rights to the $1.4 billion stadium under construction downtown.

“We could not be prouder to put ‘Mercedes-Benz’ on our stadium,” Blank said.

Blank and Mercedes-Benz USA President and CEO Steve Cannon said the naming-rights deal will run for 27 years, but they would not disclose financial terms. Cannon called it the single largest marketing deal in Mercedes-Benz history.

The deal will make the Mercedes-Benz brand prominent on the interior and exterior of the stadium, including putting the company’s familiar logo on the top of the retractable roof.

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Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Falcons players Matt Ryan and Julio Jones attended the announcement, held at the Falcons’ stadium preview center off Northside Parkway.

Mercedes-Benz, a German luxury automaker, announced plans in January to move its U.S. headquarters from New Jersey to metro Atlanta. The company is temporarily housed in an office park in Dunwoody and plans to build a new headquarters campus in Sandy Springs near Georgia 400 and Abernathy Road.

Oddly, Mercedes-Benz now will have its name on two stadiums in the NFC South. The New Orleans Saints, the Falcons’ division rival, play their home games in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome under a 10-year deal signed in 2011.

Under their stadium deal with the city of Atlanta and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, a state agency, the Falcons retain all revenue from naming rights.

But Blank said the deal was about more than dollars, stressing that he wanted to partner with an iconic brand that could keep its name on the building for decades.

Aside from the Falcons and Blank’s Major League Soccer expansion franchise, Atlanta United, the downtown stadium is expected to host many marquee events.

The 27-year deal will attach Mercedes-Benz’s name to the stadium during the final two years of construction and the first 25 years of the building’s operation.

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