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The story of how Paul Brown Stadium became Paycor Stadium

The Bengals’ director of communications, Emily Parker, says the HR software company first expressed interest back in March.

Arizona Cardinals v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Kroger. Fifth Third Bank. Even Jungle Jim’s. But Paycor? Who would’ve thought an HR software company would end up buying the naming rights to Paul Brown Stadium?

As it turns out, a few people:

Okay, that’s it. That’s everyone who saw this coming outside the front office.

So how did it all go down? Well, we asked the Bengals director of communications herself, Emily Parker. Watch below:

Here is what Parker said about how it all started:

We’ve had a partnership with Paycor since 2018, and as we were starting to look at and explore naming rights, we put out some feelers with some of our current partners. Really, it started back in March, and the conversations took off from there, as they immediately expressed interest.

So, among the many suitors, what made Mike Brown and the rest of the leadership team choose Paycor?

For us, it was very important to partner with a company that aligns with our brand... and [we liked] the fact that they’re a local company on the rise. Both us want to get that broader national attention. They went public a year ago, and they’re trying to grow their business. This is just a great message to the Cincinnati business community...

We then asked Parker if something like “Paycor Field at Paul Brown Stadium” was in the works, so as to maintain the name of the franchise’s founder. “It was important for us for the stadium to have a clear identity,” she said. “And so that’s why we wanted it to be a straight naming rights deal instead of trying to incorporate two things into the name.”

Parker also told us that the deal was close for a couple of weeks before it was made public. “I’ve been, in my mind, calling it Paycor Stadium for a couple weeks now,” she said back on August 9, 2022, when the interview took place.

And she assured fans that Paul Brown will continue to be honored, despite the name change. These efforts include the Ring of Honor, the legend’s name on jerseys, the Paul Brown coaching excellence award for outstanding high school football coaches, and the Paul Brown conference room that is used for signings.

Unfortunately, she could not reveal numbers for the financial terms. So we still don’t know how much the added income will help pay for the guaranteed money in upcoming contracts.

You can also listen to the interview on iTunes and using the player below: