Fiserv CEO explains decision to buy naming rights for Bucks arena

Brookfield-based fintech company aims to take brand to new heights with deal

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:11 pm

Milwaukee Bucks president Peter Feigin and Fiserv Inc. chief executive officer Jeffrey Yabuki on the court at the Fiserv Forum.

The Milwaukee Bucks’ arena naming rights agreement with Brookfield-based financial services technology developer Fiserv Inc. is the product of a partnership a couple years in the making, Bucks president Peter Feigin said at a press conference Thursday.

A Fortune 500 firm, Fiserv provides payments, processing services, risk and compliance, customer channel management, and insights and optimization for banks and credit unions. As a business-to-business company, some may consider it surprising that Fiserv wants to sponsor a venue so heavily-focused on the consumer experience.

But from Fiserv’s perspective, having its name for the next 25 years on the $524 million downtown arena– now dubbed the Fiserv Forum– is a no-brainer. This was evident Thursday when Fiserv chief executive officer Jeffrey Yabuki, after being asked why he agreed to the deal, pointed at the 17,500 seats and newly-painted court behind him and said, “Look at this.”

“(The Milwaukee Bucks) understand that it’s experiences in life that matter,” Yabuki said. “Our technology enables life. Peter and the ownership are enabling incredible sports and entertainment experiences. If you put them together, we have a fantastic opportunity to differentiate together and partner.”

Although it’s a Fortune 500 firm, Fiserv is not a household name to most consumers, so the partnership will likely introduce the Fiserv brand to people worldwide who are unfamiliar with the company. By associating its brand with a “symbol of technology, innovation, entertainment and experience,” Yabuki said, the company will show its pride and potential for growth and evolution.

Interior photo of the Fiserv Forum.


Yabuki said the Fiserv Forum will also serve as a source of pride for its 24,000 employees around the world, “to see this as a manifestation of our brand and what we stand for.”

The arena, which will host the Milwaukee Bucks, Marquette University men’s basketball and a variety of concerts and entertainment acts, is scheduled to open Aug. 26. It had been named the Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center temporarily as the Bucks worked to secure a sponsor.

Financial terms of the 25-year arena naming rights deal were not disclosed.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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