Browns sell stadium naming rights

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Updated: January 15, 2013

The Cleveland Browns and FirstEnergy Corporation came to terms on a stadium naming rights deal Tuesday, officially changing the title of Cleveland Browns Stadium to FirstEnergy Stadium.

At an afternoon press conference, new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and chief
executive officer Joe Banner announced the change. The building had been known
as Cleveland Browns Stadium since its inception in 1999. FirstEnergy president
and chief executive officer Tony Alexander was also on hand to announce the
partnership.

“This is a great day for all of us and it builds on the momentum we have
experienced as we enter into a new era of Cleveland Browns football,” said
Haslam. “The Browns and FirstEnergy have enjoyed a tremendous relationship for
more than a decade, and since our arrival back in August, it has been our
pleasure getting to know Tony, Chairman of the Board George Smart, President
of FirstEnergy Utilities Chuck Jones and many other FirstEnergy employees.”

Because the city owns the stadium, the deal is contingent upon approval from
the Cleveland city council, however the lease between the team and city
encourages the naming rights to be sold, which should help push the deal
through.

Once approved, the Browns will become the 23rd NFL team to have entered into a
stadium rights deal.

“Having a stadium naming rights deal in place was extremely important for us
as we look toward the future, and it was just as imperative to accomplish this
with a strong, regional company such as FirstEnergy,” said Banner.

Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, FirstEnergy is one of the largest investor-owned
electric utilities in the county.

“By joining two Ohio traditions, this partnership and regional branding
opportunity makes good business sense,” said FirstEnergy’s Alexander.
“FirstEnergy and its predecessor utilities have been serving the energy needs
of customers throughout northern Ohio for more than a century, while the
Browns’ rich legacy in the same regional footprint dates back to 1946. It is
clear the team is headed in the right direction and we look forward to being
part of the new energy in FirstEnergy Stadium.”

FirstEnergy has been a corporate partner of the team since 1999, when the
Browns returned to the NFL as an expansion franchise. The original club left
Cleveland for Baltimore after the 1995 season.