Islanders Leverage Prime Real Estate With Sponsorship Deal

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Barry M. Bloom
·3 min read
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As the New York Islanders approach the opening of the $955 million UBS Arena at Belmont Park next fall in time for the 2021-22 season, the National Hockey League club is beefing up its sponsorship affiliations.

The Islanders announced Monday they have signed Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty as their official and sole residential real estate partner to a unspecified multi-year deal that should span most of the current decade, Bryan Calka, the club’s senior vice president of partnerships, said in an interview.

The association with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s is only the beginning as the Islanders seek other sponsorship deals.

“We have a lot of partnerships we’re going to be announcing in the next six to eight months as we get closer to opening our new home,” Calka said during a Friday Zoom session. “I’m extremely proud, as someone who’s been in this business for a really long time, about how our business has evolved over the last seven months.

“We’ve succeeded through COVID. Where some others have needed to look at the bottom line and figure out how to survive, we have grown substantially even during a pandemic.”

Without being specific, Calka added that the value of the association with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s is among the most lucrative residential real estate deals in the NHL. ”It’s in the top one or two percent,” he said.

Moving out of the aging Nassau Coliseum and into the nearly completed 19,000-seat arena, has been the major point of business stimulus. While the Islanders are the anchor attraction – the hockey team will account for a minimum of 41 of the 150 anticipated dates – the privately-funded building is the linchpin of a mixed-use development project on 43 acres adjacent to the famous horse racing track owned by the state of New York.

That’s what attracted Daniel Gale Sotheby’s, a $4 billion organization based on Long Island with 25 sales offices in Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties. The new arena, said Deirdre O’Connell, the firm’s chief executive, is smack in the middle of their market area.

“As a home-grown real estate organization, we could not be more excited about our exclusive sponsorship agreement with Long Island’s home team,” she said in a media release. “When the team moves into UBS Arena, it will be located squarely among Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty offices.”

Aside from name visibility in the arena on rink and LED boards, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s will work hand-in-hand with the Islanders on several promotions.

“They’re going to be doing a lot of community work with us,” Calka said. “A lot with women in sports and presenting that platform with us. And whenever life goes back to normal, they’re the presenting sponsoring of the Islanders’ annual golf outing that benefits our children’s foundation.

“It’ll be a lot of opportunities that are not only about media availability, but they’re a part of the fabric of our community and Long Island.”

Calka joined the Islanders this past July and has more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the New York area, a majority of that time for the Yankees and Nets. He had spent the past two years as a senior VP for BSE Global, where he oversaw the strategy sponsorship and marketing with the corporate partners of the Nets and Barclays Center.

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