Madison Square Garden and WaMu — aka the banking company Washington Mutual — have reached a multi-year naming rights agreement for The Theater at Madison Square Garden, now the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Hank J. Ratner, vice chairman of Madison Square Garden and Cablevision Systems Corporation, and Steve Rotella, president and chief operating officer of WaMu, jointly announced the partnership May 17. The name of The Theater will be changed immediately; the financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
This is the first time that Madison Square Garden has entered into a naming rights agreement with a company for any of its properties.
Under the agreement, WaMu will receive branded signage throughout The Theater, and externally on The Garden, featuring the new WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden logo; the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden name will be included in all marketing and promotional materials for events held at the venue during the length of the agreement; and WaMu will place 11 branded ATMs throughout The Garden and Theater.
The WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden is a 5,600-seat venue that has served as host to major entertainment and sporting events in its over 30-year history. Annie, Peter Pan and Christmas Carol have all found a home there. The new Cirque Du Soleil production Wintuk will premiere there with a ten-week run starting in November.
With more than 325 retail banking centers and nearly 5,000 employees in the New York area, WaMu's history of supporting entertainment in New York City has included an unprecedented "buy out" of all theatre tickets on Broadway for a day and donating those tickets to teachers and serving as presenting sponsor of the musical sensation Movin' Out.