The Marvel brand is everywhere: comics, toys, movies, TV shows...and soon to be coming to a sports stadium as well.
According to Australia's 9 News, Docklands Stadium in the city of Melbourne, currently known as Etihad Stadium, is going to be rechristened as Marvel Stadium after the naming rights were scooped up by the superhero and pop culture powerhouse.
The renaming will take place on September 1 of this year and the deal is reported to last for eight years. The entire facility, which was first opened in 2000 and can hold up to 74,000 people, will be rebranded, while a Marvel retail store will open inside the stadium as well.
Michael Green, CEO of building owners Melbourne Stadium Limited, said about the blockbuster deal:
"Marvel is a powerhouse in the entertainment industry and one of the most recognized brand names in the world. It is a brand dedicated to audience experiences, which firmly aligns with our vision to create incredible experiences for fans."
"This partnership will allow us to take the stadium atmosphere to the next level and create memorable experiences for a vast array of audiences and we look forward to delivering a truly game-changing experience."
What that experience entails remains to be seen, but it might be pretty funny to have your beer and popcorn served to you by someone dressed as a Guardian of the Galaxy or even a member of the Avengers, wouldn't it? Perhaps the refs on the field will break out the Black Order costumes to really stand out from the pack.
On the downside, the deal has been made with Disney only, so don't expect to see Magneto lifting the stadium in the air with his mind until the Disney/Fox merger goes through (but wouldn't that be a neat stunt).
Reaction to the rebranding on Twitter has been mixed:
The other question is: why Australia? Not to knock on the country, which is a fine place, but wouldn't renaming a major American sports stadium make more of a splash for Marvel right in its own backyard?
Perhaps naming rights are less expensive abroad, or perhaps Marvel star Chris Hemsworth personally lobbied for it or something (after all, the Hemsworth family is Australian acting royalty).
Either way, fans of Australia rules football, soccer, cricket, rugby and concerts — all of which take place in the building — are in for a truly "super" experience (sorry, couldn't resist) when Marvel Stadium is officially launched this fall.