With NRG, Texans get partner with deep NFL experience

By Mark Yost
The Houston Business Journal

More than the signs are going to be changing at Reliant Stadium as parent company NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE: NRG) brings a wealth of National Football League experience to the Houston Texans stadium.
“They’ve always been a very active partner with us and the rodeo,” Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes told the Houston Business Journal. “We work with them each year and with this transition, I think it has the potential to only get better.”

Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes.

Houston Texans President Jamey Rootes.

While Reliant, now a unit of NRG, set the sports naming rights record when it signed with the Texans in 2003 for $300 million over 20 years, NRG has experience working with the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, New York Giants and Jets, the New England Patriots, and the Philadelphia Eagles.
In other words, NRG, which has dual headquarters in Princeton, N.J. and Houston, has partnered with every team in the NFC East and half the teams in the AFC East. And now, with one of the teams in the AFC South.
The partnership change couldn’t come at a better time for the Texans, who will host the Super Bowl for the second time in 2017.
“Reliant has been an integral partner since the stadium’s inception,” Rootes told HBJ. “It’s been a great relationship. Five years ago, they became part of NRG. Now with this name change, if anything, it’s just a closer alignment with the parent company out of Princeton.”
NRG already made its presence felt when CEO David Crane was part of the Houston team that convinced the NFL to bring Super Bowl LI here.
“I think the partnership with NRG will provide us with greater opportunities,” Rootes said. “We’ve worked hand-in-hand with NRG to get more closely aligned with the NFL. We’re proud and pleased to see that they’re expanding their NFL footprint.”
The Harris County Sports & Convention Corp. board of directors voted on Wednesday to approve the name change. Reliant Park and its entities will be renamed NRG Park, NRG Stadium, NRG Center and so on.
NRG applied to rename Reliant Park to push its “master brand” and services and products, NRG Retail Texas President Elizabeth Killinger told HBJ March 12.
TailgatingThe name change is effective immediately, and NRG hopes to have new signs in place by the beginning of the Texans’ upcoming season.

To read more about the business of the NFL, buy my book, Tailgating, Sacks and Salary Caps.

About Mark Yost
Mark Yost is the author of the Rick Crane Noir series, published by Stay Thirsty Press. Rick Crane is the classic, anti-hero private eye in the spirit of Sam Spade and Jim Rockford. He works in the unmistakably noirish underworld of Upstate New York, running errands and fixing problems for Jimmy Ricchiati Sr., one of Upstate New York's most notorious crime bosses. But readers quickly learn that deep down, Rick Crane is one of the good guys. "Cooper's Daughter," the first book in the widely acclaimed series, is a fast-moving tale in which a heartbroken father comes to Rick and asks him to find out what really happened to his daughter, who was murdered and the details buried in the Unsolved Crimes File of the local police department. The second book in the series is "Jimmy's Nephew," which begins with the death of Joey "Boom Boom" Bonadeo, an up-and-coming boxer and the nephew of Rick's underworld boss. What starts out as a routine investigation turns into a case that will test Rick's faith -- in the Catholic Church and his fellow man. Book No. 3 in the series, "Mary's Fate" is due out in August 2015. Mark Yost also writes for The Wall Street Journal Arts in Review page, as well as the Book Review section. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America -- Midwest Chapter, International Thriller Writers, and a number of other author groups. He is also a member of the Amazon Author's Program. Mark lives in the Loyola neighborhood of Chicago, but he and his son, George, call the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn "home."

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