There are several reasons for company name changes.

The Mountain America Center and The Frontier Center in Idaho Falls and the ICCU Dome in Pocatello have experienced name changes.

There has long been a practice of businesses purchasing the naming rights of sports venues across the country.

According to Chron, of the 122 major league sports franchises, 85 have naming deals with well-known companies.

Recently, the trend has bled into the local market with banks buying the rights to local companies throughout Eastern Idaho.

Built in 2022, the home of the Idaho Falls Spud Kings is the Mountain America Center, named after the Mountain America Credit Union.

Likewise, the Idaho Falls Civic Center made the transition to the Frontier Center for the Performing Arts in 2023.

Holt Arena, now the ICCU Dome, on the campus of Idaho State University is seen in the foreground with the city of Pocatello in the background.

Holt Arena, now the ICCU Dome, on the campus of Idaho State University. Photo credit: Idaho State University

The Idaho Central Credit Union is joining the growing list of banks sponsoring venues, striking a 12-year, $6 million deal with Idaho State University earlier this month to rebrand Holt Arena as the ICCU Dome.

According to Laura Smith, the vice president of community development for Idaho Central Credit Union, the ICCU values the partnerships created in all the communities served.

Sponsorships allow companies to engage with members and potential members while supporting events and activities where friends and families can create meaningful memories together.

Idaho Central Credit Union purchased the naming rights to Holt Arena in 2023.

Idaho Central Credit Union purchased the naming rights to Holt Arena in 2023. Photo credit: Chandler Guadagnin

Beyond business, the deal will allow ISU sports to flourish.

Paulline Thiros is the athletic director for ISU.

“This is actually the third name of this particular arena,” Thiros said. “That is because in the sports industry, you can monetize these assets, and it’s really necessary to fund programs.”

The naming rights and funds help the athletic program in an area that may surprise many — athlete performance and well-being.

Thiros explained that without these funds, lower division athletic programs are forced to play Division I or FBS opponents to make ends meet.

Some FCS programs play one game against their FBS counterparts, while others play two. ISU is one such athletic program competing at the FCS level and has played two.

“They play at the FBS level for a reason, and they can do real damage to FCS programs,” Thiros said. “Playing two of those games over the years has cost us. We’ve had season-ending injuries and sometimes more than one in one of those games. Career-ending injuries.”

Holt Arena is now the ICCU Dome, following the recent trend of banks purchasing naming rights.

Holt Arena is now the ICCU Dome, following the recent trend of banks purchasing naming rights. Photo credit: Idaho State University

These types of funds have a ripple effect.

Money from a sponsor, like a bank, means less having to look for compensation from higher-level programs.

This results in fewer injuries, culminating the potential for a better season.

Despite the name change, Thiros is confident that ISU athletics will continue to honor the arena’s namesake, Milton W. “Dubby” Holt, who served as the university’s athletic director from 1967 to 1989 and first conceived the idea for an indoor facility.

“We care deeply about the legacy of Dubby Holt, and we’re going to honor him,” Thiros said. “But part of honoring him is investing in the student-athletes and making our programs successful.”