City, Covelli Renew Naming Rights Deal for Arena

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Covelli Enterprises’ decision to enter into a five-year naming rights agreement for the Covelli Centre reflects the faith company officials have in Youngstown and what the city is doing, Finance Director David Bozanich says.

The Covelli Centre announced the agreement Tuesday, which extends Covelli enterprises’ naming rights through 2011.

“It shows a comfort level in terms of the team we have here,” Bozanich remarked. He characterized the new agreement as “pretty much a continuation of the existing agreement,” with additional financial benefits.

Under terms of the agreement, Covelli Enterprises will pay $200,000 annually from May 2016 to April 2019. The annual payment increases to $225,000 for the final two years of the contract

“It makes me very pleased to continue our relationship with Covelli Enterprises because it is a relationship that progresses and grows with every year,” said Eric Ryan, president of JAC Management Group, in announcing the deal. “We are privileged to be associated with the Covelli family’s distinguished legacy and work hard every year to honor that legacy with an event schedule that provides the best possible entertainment to our Valley.”

Ryan’s JAC management began operating the municipal arena under an interim agreement in 2007. Covelli Enterprises, the Warren-based franchisee of Panera Bread, O’Charley’s and Dairy Queen restaurants, stepped in as naming rights sponsor in 2009, replacing Chevrolet. General Motors ended its naming rights agreement as a consequence of its bankruptcy at the time.

Earlier naming rights deals between Covelli Enterprises and the city had been for three years. A one-year extension to the first deal was approved in 2012, while the city was exploring a possible sale of the building, and the second three-year deal was approved in 2013.

“When our company agreed to put our name on the Centre in 2009, we did it because of our commitment to the community and our belief in Eric Ryan and his team to turn the Centre around,” Sam Covelli, owner/CEO of Covelli Enterprises, said in the statement. “In the past seven years, with the overwhelming support of this community, what has happened at the Centre has exceeded my expectations,”

Since Covelli Enterprises signed on as naming rights sponsor in 2009, the arena has played host to world-renowned acts including Elton John, Carrie Underwood, Barry Manilow, KISS, Lionel Richie, Brad Paisley, Rod Stewart, Cirque Du Soleil, James Taylor, Guns and Roses, and Rascal Flatts.

“With world class acts the Centre has become not only operationally profitable, but has also improved the quality of life for the people of this great community,” Covelli said. “We are excited to be able to do our part in helping the Centre grow with our naming rights renewal and our continued efforts in marketing and promoting the Centre in our stores. The Centre’s best days, much like the Valley’s, are ahead of us and we are proud to be a part of it.”

The company’s support of the arena extends beyond its monetary contribution, according to the release, including “unprecedented efforts” to promote the center and its events.

“We think Sam Covelli does a great job as a sponsor. We need more folks like him that focus on how they can help the community,” Bozanich said.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.