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Rich Stadium First Sports Naming Deal

The first major sports naming-rights deal was signed in 1973 when Buffalo-based Rich Products agreed to pay $37.5 million over 25 years to put its name on the stadium used by the Buffalo Bills. Bob Rich Jr., then the company's vice president of sales and marketing for North America and now the president, says the deal took 13 months to complete and that the relationship between the company and the team stayed icy. "They didn't like having an outsider's name," Mr. Rich says. "But it's not like we're renaming the Louvre." The Bills declined to comment on the relationship with Rich Products, during their agreement.

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