GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers and Bellin Health announced Monday that their partnership reaches beyond the name above the new north gate of Lambeau Field.
While Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy and Bellin Health President and CEO George Kerwin unveiled the new north gate sign sponsored by Bellin Health, the companies also unveiled a new initiative.
Titletown Wellness Initiatives partners the Packers and Bellin to promote health, wellness and safety in Northeast Wisconsin.
"Our goal is to make this area the most healthy in the United States," said Murphy.
Bellin will continue with previous activities like youth athlete screenings, Make the Right Call 911, the Packers 5K, youth bike helmet giveaways, and Packers Family Night.
Kerwin says Bellin may offer services during Packers games, such as blood pressure screenings and flu shots.
Bellin Health has been the official healthcare partner of the Packers in 2007.
It's the second new gate to be named, not to mention the recent renewal of another major sponsor.
The Packers won't say how much money they've received for selling those naming rights. But, sports economists say it's definitely giving the team a boost in revenue.
"We couldn't be more pleased that we found a partner in Bellin Health," Murphy said during the naming announcement Monday.
"It's a great way to partner with a local company and provide them visibility that benefits them," said Murphy.
Last week, the team debuted the Shopko gate.
Sports economist Kevin Quinn at St. Norbert College says the Packers have taken on a unique way to create revenue without changing the name of their long-storied home.
"The Packers are keeping up with the Joneses. Maybe they are the Joneses," said Quinn. "Lambeau Field is a cathedral. There was some talk years ago of whether the Packers were going to sell the naming rights to the stadium and that didn't set well with folks."
"I think we all agree that the biggest asset we have is Lambeau Field. But, we're not going to sell the naming rights to the stadium. So, as an alternative, what we've done is we've sold the naming rights to the gates," said Murphy.
The Packers have not revealed the price tag on the gates this year. However, Murphy told shareholders last week the team raised $28 million from sponsorships last year.
"My guess is when you add up all five gates together it's probably fairly similar to what they'd get if they sold the naming rights," said Quinn.
Earlier this month, the Packers reported a record year in 2011. Total revenue topped $302 million. Operational profits, $43 million.
"The name of the game in the NFL is revenue streams," said Quinn. "I think the Packers are an extraordinarily well-run organization and they have all the pieces in place they need."
Quinn says for the Packers to continue success financially, they'll have to provide companies the incentive to back them by their continued success on the field.
The new Bellin Health entrance is equipped with six elevators for fans who need greater accessibility on game day.
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