After three years of existing under the name of Superpages.com Center, the Live Nation-owned and -operated concert amphitheater located in Fair Park announced today a new corporate sponsor for its facilities -- and with it, yet another name in a long line of names.
Since opening in 1988 as the Coca-Cola Starplex Amphitheatre, the Fair Park concert venue has held many names -- Starplex (which became the official name in 1998 after the venue's Coca-Cola sponsorship expired), Smirnoff Music Center (which took over the rights in 2000) and Superpages.com Center (which held the naming rights since January 2008) -- and, now, it has a brand new one. Effective immediately, Live Nation representatives announced today at a press conference held at the House of Blues' Foundation Room, the venue will now be known as the Gexa Energy Pavilion.
Gexa Energy, a Houston-based electricity provider, becomes the venue's fourth corporate sponsor in its 23 year life span. That company's director of marketing, Victor Howard, described today Gexa Energy's purchasing of the venue's naming rights as "by far the most notable sponsorship our company has ever undertaken."
The naming rights deal negotiated, Live Nation senior vice president Danny Eaton tells DC9, is a three-year deal with options for an extended relationship. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Eaton also declined to share whether any North Texas-based companies had made any offers to get involved in the naming rights negotiations.
Nonetheless, it's an interesting move for Gexa Energy, which, up till now, hasn't held much, if any, of a reputation in the North Texas market. And that's exactly the company's motive in purchasing the naming rights, explains Howard.
"It's all about the chance to have the breadth and longevity -- and the chance to have a strong foothold in the North Texas area," Howard says.
The real question, perhaps, is whether anyone will bother to use the new name in informal discussions -- even amidst the Smirnoff and Superpages.com eras, fans in the region still referred to the venue as, simply, the Starplex. As for us? Well, we like this suggestion, which came from one of our Twitter followers in the immediate wake of our passing along of this information there about an hour ago: Really, why not refer to it now as the Gexaplex? I mean, it's kind of catchy. Right?