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Lexington Center Announces Landmark Naming Rights Agreement with Central Bank

January 27, 2021

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.”


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