Fiserv is naming rights sponsor for Bucks arena

To be named Fiserv Forum

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

The Milwaukee Bucks announced today that Brookfield-based financial services technology developer Fiserv Inc. is the naming rights sponsor for the new $524 million arena in downtown Milwaukee, which will be called the Fiserv Forum.

Interior photo of the Fiserv Forum.

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

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.

A Fortune 500 firm, Fiserv provides payments, processing services, risk and compliance, customer channel management, and insights and optimization for banks and credit unions. Its name will be featured on the exterior façade, the basketball court, the rooftop and elsewhere in the facility.

“We are excited to partner with the Milwaukee Bucks to create an unprecedented opportunity to elevate our brand as one of the world’s leading providers of financial technology and payment services,” said Jeff Yabuki, president and chief executive officer of Fiserv, in a statement. “We also expect this arrangement to further differentiate our brand in support of our purpose of delivering value and excellence to our clients every day.”

Fiserv in February sold its Lending Solutions business to private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC for $395 million. The company has not traditionally been consumer-focused, since its customers are financial services institutions.

Exterior rendering of the Fiserv Forum.

“We are proud to become a long-term partner with Fiserv, a dynamic international company with a prominent Wisconsin presence, which deeply shares our commitment to bettering and growing Milwaukee,” said Bucks owners Wes Edens, Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan. “It was clear from the start of our conversations that the Bucks and Fiserv align perfectly in our goals for innovation and leadership, and carry the same passion for excellence. As Fiserv Forum becomes an internationally recognized venue, we are excited to be an instrumental part of furthering Fiserv’s brand as a leader in its industry. Fiserv Forum will be the entertainment and sporting heart of our city and will deliver memorable experiences for fans and families in Wisconsin for generations to come.”

Fiserv has also been in the midst of a search for a new corporate headquarters location and about a year ago had narrowed the search to three locations in the Milwaukee market, but had not ruled out other states. The state offered $10 million in tax credits for the company to keep its headquarters in Wisconsin. Fiserv has not given an update on the headquarters search since Jeff Yabuki answered a question at the firm’s annual shareholders meeting in May with:

“We, as everyone knows in the community, we have been focused on what to do about our headquarters. We do believe that we need to have a more technologically savvy location and so we’re working on that. We are disappointed on how long it’s taken to make the decision, but we know this is a multi-decade decision. We want to make sure we make a good one. We are committed to Wisconsin, so we will continue to be engaged here, and we’re looking for what’s the right location given the demographics of the city and our need to be able to recruit. As soon as we have a decision, we’ll share it.”

The firm said the naming rights sponsorship “further affirms its commitment” to Milwaukee.

Fiserv had denied it is the naming rights sponsor for the arena over the past several months, most recently responding to a question from BizTimes on June 20 with: “As noted previously, we are not the naming rights sponsor for the new arena.”

Exterior photo of the Fiserv Forum.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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