The Miami Heat, Miami-Dade County and Kaseya, a global software firm headquartered in the City of Miami, have finalized an agreement to take over the naming rights of the Miami-Dade Arena, according to a team spokesperson.
The arena will be known as the Kaseya Center through 2040 as per the terms of the agreement.
Miami-Dade County, which owns the property at 601 Biscayne in downtown Miami, had been seeking a new agreement since FTX, the previous naming rights partner, had declared bankruptcy earlier this year. The Board of County Commission passed a resolution to accept Kaseya’s proposed bid in a meeting on April 4.
“As one of the most iconic venues in the world, we could not be more excited to officially rename the arena as the Kaseya Center and partner with the Miami Heat,” said Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola. “Miami is our home, and having Kaseya showcased globally as synonymous with Miami is something we’re very proud of, and will provide significant value to our customers, employees, and the community. The Miami Heat are widely recognized as a championship-level organization that has attained the highest levels of success, both on the court and in the community. As Kaseya has grown into the global leader in IT and security management software, we’re honored to partner with an iconic franchise that mirrors our own passion to achieve great things.”
As part of the terms of the resolution agreement, Kaseya is expected to hire thousands of employees to create employment opportunities throughout South Florida. The County will also receive regularly scheduled payments for the next 17 years, with those monies being allocated into an anti-gun violence trust fund.
“We are proud to close this deal with a locally based company for the first time in the history of the Arena,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “Since Kaseya relocated its headquarters to Miami, it has demonstrated a real commitment to invest in our economy and our local talent by opening the door to the jobs of the future. This deal will not only allow us to continue investing in critical crime prevention programs, it will also strengthen our brand as a global, diverse and future-ready community.”
The deal provides some stability to a building that had undergone various changes over the last two years. FTX had successfully entered into a naming rights deal with the County in 2021 but that deal was voided as a result of FTX’s financial collapse. The building at 601 had been named simply “Miami-Dade Arena” over the last two months. Before FTX entered into a partnership with the County, the building had been known as “AmericanAirlines Arena” since 1999, a span in which the Miami Heat won multiple championships and established itself as one of the consistent franchises in the NBA.
“We were all blindsided by what happened with FTX. It was nobody’s favorite time period,” says Eric Woolworth, the team’s president of business operations. “But I think the story here is how quickly we’ve been able to move on and find another partner. Sometimes in our business, teams and venues can go years without a naming rights partner. It’s a testament to our partnership with the County that we were able to move so quickly to find not only a new naming rights partner, but Kaseya, a local company, is hiring a lot of people here in Miami-Dade County, and I think the industry they are in is a much more stable one than the one FTX was in. So I think everybody feels really good about it. And we’re happy to welcome Kaseya to the family.”
While terms of the agreement are not set to officially begin until July 1, 2023, fans will see changes almost immediately with a new logo prominently displayed on the court for Miami’s last home game on April 9, with other activations taking place throughout the length of the agreement, per Woolworth. The County will also be unrolling a PR campaign to promote the partnership with Kaseya, a company that might be considered relatively unknown, especially in contrast to a brand as established as American Airlines.
Despite the recent instability, Heat executives are optimistic that this new partnership will be a successful one for all parties involved.
“For the first 21 years, we were known as AmericanAirlines Arena, and there was no doubt there. And then, you know, we had the hiccup with FTX,” says Michael McCullough, the team’s chief marketing officer. “And what I’m expecting, and what I’m hoping is, 17 years from now, when you look back at the history of what will now be known as Kaseya Center, you basically will know two naming rights partners, and the one that was in the middle is going to fade into obscurity, because it was only here for a short time, and you’re going to have American Airlines, and you’re going to have Kaseya. [FTX] will always be part of the history, and we’re not going to try to run or hide from that. But what we anticipate is, the name could say a center will become synonymous to both the Heat, the County and the success that we bring to the region.”