The iWireless Center

The iWireless Center's name won't change in the near future. The company will extend its sponsorship of the Moline arena for the next two years.

iWireless is extending its sponsorship with the iWireless Center in Moline for at least the next two years.

The company previously announced it would end its 10-year contract with the arena that shares its name. The original contract ended in July. 

"The name isn't changing," iWireless Center executive director Scott Mullen said. "At the end of the day, iWireless is the best path to go down right now. We had that in our back pocket as an option if we didn't get an attractive deal." 

Shortly after the April 2016 announcement that iWireless could cut ties with the arena, the Illinois Quad-City Civic Center Authority board hired a consulting firm, Impressions Sports & Entertainment, to find a new naming-rights partner.

Mullen said deals were considered with four area companies, including Genesis Health Systems, but each of those deals "ultimately wasn't anything that made sense to both parties." 

"Genesis, like most of the other organizations in the area, considered it and determined it wasn't an appropriate fit," said Ken Croken, chief marketing officer of Genesis Health Systems.

In the meantime, iWireless Center staff and the consulting firm will continue the search for a new naming-rights partner. 

"If we see something better, we'll go for that," Mullen said. "In that case, iWireless would have no problem stepping aside." 

Mullen did not disclose specific financial arrangements for the two-year sponsorship extension, though he said, "iWireless has more than fairly compensated us." 

The previous 10-year sponsorship with iWireless included a contract of $4.25 million, or $425,000 in annual support.

The partnership began in 2005, when iWireless acquired naming rights, changing the venue's name from The Mark of the Quad-Cities. The Mark opened in 1993 at a cost of $33.4 million. That was about the time the mobile network operator shortened its title from Iowa Wireless.

iWireless initially wanted to step away from the contract because the company moved to the Des Moines area, Mullen said. 

"They're not here to take advantage of the suites, so they wanted to spend their money in other places," he said. 

Mullen said the iWireless Center announced the contract's end last year "to stir up some interest." 

At this point, he's glad "they agreed to stick around for awhile." 

"It costs a lot of money to change the sign outside, the logos and the uniforms when when you're rebranding," Mullen said. "You want it to be the right deal if it's a long term deal. We didn't want to change the name just to change it again."

2
1
6
1
2

Amanda Hancock is a reporter covering food, arts and entertainment in the Quad-Cities (and beyond).