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Staples To Cash In On Jackson's Funeral

Michael Jackson
AP
Michael Jackson

Ten years ago, Staples bought the naming rights to the arena that hosted the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers.

It was a 20-year deal reportedly worth $116 million.

Staples has certainly got its bang for the buck, just factoring the attention that has come from the Lakers four championships in that time period.

But all that is nothing compared to the exposure the office supplies company will get from having its name on the arena that will host Michael Jackson's funeral today.

Given the worldwide exposure on the event, Staples will conservatively get between $65 million and $75 million in advertising exposure from today alone, said Eric Wright of Joyce Julius & Associates, a sponsorship evaluation firm.

To put that in perspective, Wright says his company calculated that Raymond James Financial garnered $37.3 million in exposure from hosting this year's Super Bowl. Wright said Staples got as much as $8 million in exposure for each of the years that the Lakers played in the NBA Finals.

"This will be one of the most watched events of the century," said Ben Sturner, president of Leverage Agency, a sports marketing firm that, among other things, sells stadium naming rights. "You can't buy the exposure Staples is going to get today. And what really makes it valuable is the fact that Staples can capitalize on all of it because the company really does have a global footprint."

It has been a good year on the sports sponsorship side for office supply companies. Office Depot is in its first year of sponsoring Tony Stewart's car. Stewart is in first place in NASCAR's point standings and has won three races, including the Sprint All-Star race.

The office supplies companies need all the help they can get. Due to the recession, Staples, along with its competitors, have cut jobs and slowed down expansion.

Update: As of 10:30 a.m. ET, "Staples Center" was a trending topic on Twitter.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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