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New for 2017: RP Funding Center

Lakeland Magic

The home of the Lakeland Magic has a new identity, with The Lakeland Center renamed the RP Funding Center as the result of a naming rights agreement with RP Funding. 

Owned by the Orlando Magic, the Lakeland Magic are set to debut for the 2017-18 NBA Gatorade League (G-League) season. The team’s arrival in Lakeland will coincide with a new name for its home venue, thanks to a five-year naming rights partnership with RP Funding that was announced on Tuesday.

Renovations to the venue will take place in advance of the Magic’s arrival, providing some new amenities to a facility that first opened in 1974. While the naming rights partnership grants RP Funding an opportunity to place its branding on the center in advance of the Magic’s debut, the agreement also gives the company additional promotional opportunities. More from The Ledger:

The deal also includes TV, radio, print and social-media promotion. [RP Funding CEO Robert] Palmer’s other brand, a tech start-up called, will be represented on the Lakeland Magic basketball team’s uniforms as well as on the court inside George Jenkins Arena. The 37-year-old said RP Funding will be the Lakeland Magic’s founding partner, while will be the presenting partner.

Based on the contract between the city and the Magic, RP Funding will pay $2.5 million for the building’s naming rights. The city will receive $150,000 per year over the next five years for that portion of the deal. Palmer would not disclose exactly how much he paid for the branding, saying it came at a cost of more than $1 million per year. The total deal likely exceeds $5 million over five years.

“We knew this was coming, we just couldn’t talk about it yet,” Palmer said. “We did one deal between the Lakeland Magic, the Orlando Magic and the building, all wrapped into a single deal.”

The move of the franchise to Lakeland was revealed last year, when the Orlando Magic announced a purchase of and intention to relocate the Erie BayHawks. The RP Funding Center features several amenities, including the 8,000-seat Jenkins Arena, 2,200-seat Youkey Theatre, and 100,00 square feet of conference space.

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