Lexington’s Premier Convention, Meeting, Sports and Entertainment Venue
Gets a New Name Under 14-year Deal

LEXINGTON, KY  -- Lexington Center Corporation today announced a landmark naming rights agreement with Central Bank, rebranding Lexington-Central Kentucky’s premier convention, meeting, sports and entertainment complex as Central Bank Center.

The iconic Rupp Arena will be Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center

The agreement is between Central Bank and JMI Sports, and UK / LCC’s multimedia rights partner.  This agreement bolsters Central Bank’s existing relationship with JMI Sports and UK to an annual average investment of $4.1 million with a term of 14 years, expiring in 2033.  Upon completion of the renovation, the portion of this investment associated with naming rights will be $1.5 million. The opportunity to sell naming rights with other media rights is part of LCC’s and the university’s Right of Use Agreement executed in February 2018 and transferred media rights ownership to UK.

“This is a milestone agreement which represents the first naming rights agreement in the 44-year history of this legendary facility,” said Bob Elliston, Lexington Center Corporation Board Chairman. “We are thrilled to align with such a strong community leader, Central Bank.  Central Bank has had a longstanding, 30-plus year relationship with Lexington Center. We are confident they will protect and advance the tradition of these fine facilities and we are excited to begin this new decade of our service to the community and the region as Central Bank Center!” 

A key part of the agreement is the naming rights to the Lexington Convention Center complex, which is currently undergoing a major expansion.  To preserve and honor the history and tradition of the legendary basketball program led by Adolph Rupp, the arena will be known as Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center.  The Central Bank Center brand will be on interior, exterior and directional signage, as well as collateral materials related to the Convention Center and Rupp Arena. New graphics are being designed which will be fully integrated into the expansion project and other areas of the facility.

Central Bank has long been known for their strong support of the businesses, consumers and communities of Kentucky. The company’s new partnership with the Lexington Center underscores both its commitment to the community, and mission to realize economic growth and community development in the heart of Lexington. 

“Our founder, Garvice Kincaid, dedicated much of his time and resources to the community. He was even a founding board member for the Lexington Center. It is because of Mr. Kincaid’s good works that Central Bank is known statewide as an advocate not only for the communities where we reside, but for the entire Commonwealth,” stated Luther Deaton, Central Bank chairman, president and CEO. “Today, his daughter Joan Kincaid, Central Bank owner and vice chairman, continues this legacy of generosity through initiatives that serve the entire state and improve each of the communities we serve. Central Bank is able to make these contributions possible because Ms. Kincaid doesn’t take a salary or benefits from the bank. She does this because she knows that when our communities and local businesses are successful, ultimately, our bank will share in that success.”

In addition to economic growth and community development expected as a result of the renovations, Central Bank also views the new Central Bank Center as another opportunity to add value for their loyal customer base. Plans are underway to roll out exclusive benefits for Central Bank customers inside Central Bank Center during 2020, and beyond.

For UK Athletics, this marks another instance of innovative partnership with a company that shares its commitment to the success of its 500-plus student-athletes and the people of the Commonwealth.

“The power of partnership enables us to pursue our goal of building an elite athletics department and empowering young people to grow as students, athletes and people,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “Central Bank, the Lexington Center and JMI Sports have all been strong and committed partners of our university for a long time and we are proud to announce this next phase of our partnership.

 “It was also essential to us that we preserve the name of this incredible venue out of respect for Coach Rupp, his accomplishments and his family.  We want to preserve and enhance the unmatched tradition of the building that bears his name. We look forward to playing at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center for years to come.”

This partnership is the third naming rights agreement that JMI Sports has delivered through its partnership with the University of Kentucky.

“Our company is committed to achieving the unique objectives of each university that we represent. This agreement with Central Bank exemplifies our ability to deliver landmark partnerships that provide profound value for the University of Kentucky and our valued corporate partners,” said JMI Sports CEO Erik Judson.

Kim Shelton, President of UK Sports and Campus Marketing (JMI Sports) added, “We are thrilled to expand our relationship with Central Bank to include naming rights of Lexington Center.  A key element of a naming rights partnership is the synergy between the partners and the property. We are honored to deliver a partnership between Central Bank, the University of Kentucky and the Lexington Center Corporation that truly represents the very best of the  Commonwealth of Kentucky.”


About Central Bank Center (Formerly Lexington Center)

Located in Lexington, Kentucky, Lexington Center Corporation (LCC) is a not-for-profit 501c3 corporate agency of the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government established in 1974 to manage and maintain Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center, the Central Bank Center (formerly Lexington Convention Center), Triangle Park and the Lexington Opera House. One of the nation’s most storied entertainment destinations, Central Bank Center venues collectively welcome an average of 1.3 million patrons annually.

Since 1976, Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center has served as the home court of the University of Kentucky Men’s’ Basketball team. Rupp Arena has hosted legendary artists such as Justin Timberlake, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, Chris Stapleton and many more. Since 2018, Oak View Group and Live Nation Arenas have provided booking services to Rupp Arena. During the last eighteen months, Rupp Arena has broken all previous audience attendance and revenue records in its storied 43-year history.

Lexington Opera House, built in 1886, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is one of the premiere performing arts centers in the region. From its opening, the Opera House has played host to such famous stage performers W.C. Fields, The Marx Brothers, Al Jolson, Julie Harris, Steve Martin, Brian Wilson and Graham Nash.  It has undergone two major renovations and remains a cultural destination in downtown Lexington.

Central Bank Center holds over 200 meetings, trade shows and special events annually.  It is currently undergoing a transformative $275 million expansion, featuring a dramatic, light-filled architectural design. Upon completion in Spring 2022, the new Central Bank Center will offer over 200,000 SF of flexible meeting and event space.

For more, visit CentralBankCenter.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

About Central Bank

Central Bank is headquartered in Lexington, KY. Central Bank serves consumers and businesses with full-service banking, investment, mortgage, insurance and wealth management services, all provided locally.  Central Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Central Bancshares, Inc. that operates 28 banking offices and 39 ATMs in Boone, Clark, Fayette, Jefferson, Jessamine, Kenton, Madison, and Scott counties.  Two additional banking centers were opened at 3541 Outer Loop in Louisville, KY and at 9021 U.S. Highway 42 in Union, KY during 2019. Central Bancshares is the holding company for Central Bank & Trust Co., Central Insurance Services and Central Investment Center. Central Bank was recently honored as a Best Place to Work in Kentucky. Central Bank is also the Official Bank of University of Kentucky Athletics.

About UK Athletics

UK Athletics fields a 22-sport program that has emerged as one of the best in the country under Barnhart’s leadership. Coming off a 14th-place finish in 2018-19, UK has finished in the top 30 of national all-sports standings in eight straight seasons. UK’s men’s basketball team, which calls Rupp Arena home, is at the forefront of that success as the Greatest Tradition in the History of College Basketball. Wildcat student-athletes are also achieving at unprecedented levels away from competition, reaching a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average in 15 straight semesters and serving thousands of hours in the community each year.

About JMI Sports

JMI Sports is a full-service collegiate marketing firm providing the highest quality management of athletics multimedia rights. Breaking new ground in the creation of the Total Campus Marketing program, JMI Sports works hand-in-hand with each university in the pursuit of their success, maximizing their economic potential. JMI Sports manages an impressive list of signature partnerships including the University of Kentucky, Clemson University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh, the Ivy League, and joint-venture properties of the University of Georgia and Columbia University (with IMG College), as well as the University of Notre Dame (with Legends). In addition, JMI Sports has been retained by the Patriot League and the Mountain West League to expand and develop multi-media and partnerships sales for the leagues at-large. Founded in 2006 by Erik Judson and technology entrepreneur John Moores, former owner of the San Diego Padres, JMI Sports is also a highly regarded project manager for the development of collegiate and professional sports facilities.