Published on Friday, 13 April 2012 17:13
WGN Radio has announced a new partnership with its longtime sponsor the Allstate Corporation. The famous Chicagoland-based insurance company has been granted the naming rights to the Chicago radio station's famous, over 25 year-old, street-side radio studio. As of May 1st, WGN-AM's Showcase Studio on Michigan Avenue will be renamed as the Allstate Showcase Studio.
Allstate's sponsorship agreement with the radio station will include an interior studio wrap featuring WGN Radio and Allstate graphics, as well as on-air naming recognition. Financial terms and the exact length of the multi-year agreement were not made public.
The WGN Radio Showcase Studio originally opened on August 3, 1986, when the radio station relocated its studios from Bradley Place, where it had been for 25 years and which still houses WGN-TV, back to its previous home inside the Tribune Tower.
At the start of this year, WGN-AM announced it would be moving its studios and offices
up from the main level of the Tribune Tower, to the building's seventh floor -- with one notable exception... The historic street-side studio would remain unmoved. Regardless of the move upstairs, WGN Radio's afternoon and early evening hosts each day, as well as its morning hosts on occasion, would continue to be seen broadcasting live in the studio that looks out onto Michigan Avenue and Pioneer Court.
The station worked long and hard to find the right partner for the iconic radio studio and then to put together the deal to make it work for all involved. Katie Walsh, the Integrated Marketing Specialist at Tribune Company, has been singled out as somebody who worked tirelessly for well over a year to secure this unique agreement, coordinating this initiative through both Allstate and Starcom to help build this multi-tier program. Others who were instrumental in putting the deal together for the station include Tom Langmyer, Bill White, Jackie Paulus, Chris Duffy, Jeff Hill, and Matt Munro.
The relationship between WGN Radio and the Allstate Corporation has been a very long one, and one that has grown in recent years. Allstate has been the primary sponsor of WGN-AM's monthly "Hometown Voices Tour" series of live remote broadcasts from Chicago area suburbs over the last few years. The two companies have been working together on many levels to mutually help each others' businesses, along with the local community.
Tom Langmyer, WGN Radio Vice President and General Manager, said in a statement: "We are proud of the partnership we have developed with Allstate over the years through programs like the community-driven WGN Radio Hometown Voices Tour and are pleased to extend that partnership to the Showcase Studio. The Showcase Studio has been a mainstay on Chicago's famous Michigan Avenue for over 25 years and home to many legendary broadcasters. We are excited to announce this next chapter in WGN's history with such a valued partner."
Lisa Cochrane, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Allstate, added: "As Chicago's hometown insurance company, Allstate is thrilled to work with WGN, another hometown legend. By expanding WGN Radio's Hometown Voices Tour, we're also broadening support of the local community, and the customers and Allstate agents who live and work here."
The Allstate Corporation, founded in 1931 and headquartered in north suburban Northbrook, is the second-largest personal lines property and casualty insurer in the United States and the largest that is publicly held. Allstate has sponsored buildings before, such as the Allstate Arena in Rosemont (formerly the Rosemont Horizon), as well as sporting events, such as the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard NASCAR race. This is their
second* time sponsoring a radio station studio.
*=UPDATE: In 2010, Allstate sponsored the radio/television studio of New York's WFAN-AM, calling the sports-talk station's main broadcasting room, The Allstate Studios. (Hat tip to the Chicago Tribune's Phil Rosenthal for pointing this out.)
This is far from the first time a radio station's studio name has been sponsored. In fact, it's not even the first time in Chicago in the last year. WMVP-AM opened up its street-side radio studio
late last year, with it immediately sponsored by an automobile company. The "ESPN Chicago Cadillac State Street Studio" was unveiled on September 14, 2011
Interior shot of WGN Radio's Showcase Studio
(Photo credit: Steve Dahlman)