Medtronic PLC's name will emblazon a 3-acre plaza between the front door of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium and public park in downtown Minneapolis.
The medical device maker bought naming rights to the plaza from the Vikings in a 10-year deal announced Monday. The company and team didn't disclose specific terms.
U.S. Bancorp in June agreed to a 20-year deal with the Vikings to name the stadium after its main business unit, U.S. Bank. The firms didn't reveal precise terms of that deal either, though executives acknowledged it was valued at around $10 million a year.
For Medtronic, the plaza naming deal brings new visibility among consumers, though its products are chiefly sold to doctors and hospitals. The Vikings estimate about 85 percent of all gameday visitors will enter through the plaza's five 90-foot-tall glass doors.
Medtronic is not new to sports marketing. It also sponsors the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.
"Medtronic was born and raised in Minnesota, and we are proud to be sponsoring this great new community asset for the Twin Cities," Rob Clark, Medtronic's vice president of corporate communications and corporate marketing, said in a statement. "Our sponsorship is a symbol of our continued commitment and presence in the state."
The company moved its legal headquarters to Ireland this year after merging with an Irish firm, but its main corporate operations are in Fridley.
Plans for the plaza, on the west side of U.S. Bank Stadium, have been slow to form. The plaza does not include the 1.7-acre block with a light-rail stop, which is owned by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.
Design details have not been revealed, but the plaza will likely be sloped to create a more gradual, pedestrian-friendly flow to better connect the four-acre Commons park with the stadium, which sits at a slightly higher grade.
The Vikings have also considered building a Vikings ship on the plaza to serve as a meeting spot for fans, but those plans are preliminary.
Vikings owners Leonard, Mark and Zygi Wilf also own nearly two acres of land across S. 4th Street. Initial plans included a mixed-use project, but it could be incorporated to the plaza design.
"We are proud to announce this broader partnership and to introduce Medtronic Plaza to the community," Mark Wilf said in the statement. "The nearly three-acre programmable space next to a four-acre park will offer a new and vastly improved pregame experience for our fans and all U.S. Bank Stadium users."