SANTA CLARA -- The San Francisco 49ers on Monday named their biggest Silicon Valley tech teammate yet for their new stadium, signing an exclusive fantasy football and social media deal with Yahoo (YHOO).
The deal will allow fans to upload photos to Flickr, which Yahoo owns, during the game and potentially see their shots on the stadium big screen. 49ers faithful can also visit the Yahoo Fantasy Football Lounge inside the stadium's swanky suite tower.
Financial terms of the 10-year deal were not disclosed. Yahoo will be named "the exclusive online sports content, social networking and photo and video sharing partner" of the new stadium and the 49ers.
Bob Stohrer, Yahoo's senior vice president of brand creative, said the company wanted to be part of a stadium he said would "set a new standard" for technologically advanced NFL home fields, while aligning its popular fantasy football site with the local NFL team.
Stohrer said the Fantasy Football Lounge could include several screens for fans to follow along with their fantasy league while talking with Yahoo Sports fantasy experts and visiting two adjacent "fan zones." That's increasingly important as the 49ers and other NFL teams battle with the reality that fans can save a lot of money by staying home or going out to a bar, where they can easily keep up with several games around the league.
"We know nowadays that fans are incredibly passionate about their favorite team but heavily invested in everything that's going on throughout the league," said Stohrer, noting the 49ers field would still be visible from the lounge. "They want to stay connected to what's happening in fantasy while they're enjoying their" home team's game.
Stohrer conceded fans could still upload photos to non-Yahoo social media sites such as Instagram or Facebook but hopes the possibility of seeing their shots on the 190-foot-wide scoreboard during the second half of 49ers games would be enough incentive for fans to use Flickr.
Yahoo, based in Sunnyvale, one town over from the new stadium, also has large offices on Great America Parkway in Santa Clara, just a mile from the 49ers' new home.
Yahoo joins Mountain View-based Violin Memory and San Jose-based Brocade as Silicon Valley "founding partner" sponsors of the stadium. Other sponsors include Bud Light, NRG Energy, Sony and SAP. Levi Strauss has the biggest sponsorship: a $220 million, 20-year naming rights deal. Google (GOOG), Apple (AAPL) and other local tech companies are teaming up to help Levi's Stadium host the 50th Super Bowl in 2016.
The $1.3 billion Santa Clara stadium is more than 40 percent complete and scheduled to open by August 2014.
"The 49ers are thrilled to partner with Yahoo, a locally-based, global brand that shares our vision for Levi's Stadium," 49ers CEO Jed York said in a statement. "Yahoo is a tremendous example of Silicon Valley innovation at work. Their experience in servicing the fan and wealth of resources will serve integral roles as we strive to present an unparalleled experience to visitors of Levi's Stadium."
Contact Mike Rosenberg at 408-920-5705. Follow him at twitter.com/RosenbergMerc.