Will Dunkin’s Rebranding Impact Providence or Hartford?

by | Sep 30, 2018 | AHL Hockey, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, MiLB, NCAA Basketball, News, Paul Baker

When Dunkin’ Donuts announced earlier this week that they will be changing their name to the more streamlined Dunkin’, it caused a ripple effect that went beyond coffee and donuts to the sports scene here in New England. Local sports fans pondered: Will this affect the names of our favorite sports venues?

Dunkin’ Donuts is the naming rights sponsor to two marquee facilities in southern New England, the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island, home of the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League and the Providence College Friars basketball team, and Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford, Connecticut, home of the Hartford Yard Goats of the Eastern Baseball League.

It’s currently not clear if name changes are in the works for either facility. Chris Raia, a spokesman for Dunkin’ Brands, released twin statements stating that the company has not yet made a decision regarding the branding of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center and Dunkin’ Donuts Park. The general manager of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Larry Lepore said that while he’s known about the change in the corporate logo and name, the company has made no mention of a name change for the arena.

The new Dunkin’ logo will appear on packaging, as well as advertising, website and social media channels beginning in 2019. The company’s familiar orange and pink color scheme can be found throughout both buildings, most notably in Hartford, where a giant version of the logo is posted over the ballpark’s main entrance and a giant coffee cup in left field emits steam after Yard Goat home runs and victories.

Right Field Entrance to Dunkin' Donuts Park

Dunkin’ Donuts Park Exterior. Photo by Paul Baker, Stadium Journey.

The company’s name change goes into effect in January, and will be phased in gradually as the 12,500 worldwide Dunkin’ Donuts franchises update their stores. While customers will still be able to purchase doughnuts and pastries at restaurants, the company wants to emphasize their coffees and other beverages, which make up the majority of their sales.

The current naming rights deal at the arena lasts until 2021. The company pays $425,000 for naming rights in Providence. Exact terms for the Hartford deal have not been released, but are rumored to be in the range of $500,000 per year.

Don’t expect a major name change in either Providence or Hartford. The Dunkin’ Donuts Center, often called “The Dunk” by both P-Bruins and Friars fans, will likely just keep its nickname after the name change. Some Providence fans may be more interested if they will now be able to purchase donuts in the arena after the name change.

Follow Paul Baker’s stadium journeys on Twitter and Instagram @PuckmanRI.


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