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Every time Matt McCombs walks into Moline’s downtown arena, the Vibrant president and CEO remembers watching the Harlem Globetrotters perform as a 12-year-old in the mid-1990s at what then was known as The Mark of the Quad Cities. Those memories were especially vibrant earlier this year when the 40-year-old father took his four daughters, ranging in age from 5 to 13, to a return engagement by the world-famous basketball barnstormers. “It’s still a good show, but it’s not the original – so it’s not quite like it used to be,” Mr. McCombs said. “But it was a lot of fun being able to come to the same place that I came as a kid – and to be able to now bring my daughters and share that experience with them was just as exciting.” So, when Vibrant was approached about a naming rights sponsorship with the local civic center, Mr. McCombs wanted to become more than a nostalgic guest at future shows. He also was determined the Moline-based Vibrant – the former Deere Harvester Credit Union – would do much more than the usual hands-off sponsor’s involvement of only sending a big check. Thinking of that Globetrotting experience with his daughters, Mr. McCombs was inspired to ensure Vibrant become a partner in updating and revitalizing for future generations a facility that will celebrate its 30th anniversary in May 2023 – a mere nine months away. A 10-year, $4 million deal laced with unmonetized extras was announced Thursday, Aug. 18, to replace the TaxSlayer Center name with Vibrant Arena at The Mark, effective Thursday, Sept. 1. “We don’t want to just drive by and see our name on the building,” Mr. McCombs told the QCBJ. “This is more of a partnership. It’s about all the things that we can do to help modernize and revitalize the feeling on the inside.” Some of those extras include a reimagined building entryway featuring the colors of Vibrant’s exploding pinwheel logo splashed across the massive windows on the front of the building facing River Drive. New graphics and fonts also are planned for updated signage, and a new paint job is forthcoming for a purple and charcoal gray color scheme to replace the familiar old maroon and teal dating to the facility’s founding. An LED wall also will be used as an interactive feature to share the arena and sponsor messages as guests make their way upstairs to the concourse. At the top, a highlight will eventually include the new Vibrant Lounge – featuring a “backyard barbecue feel,” according to Mr. McCombs. It will offer an indoor-outdoor patio for special meetings, VIP events and private parties. There is no firm timetable yet on the improvements, which include the Vibrant name on two sides of the building – one facing the street, one facing the Interstate 74 Bridge. “It’s going to be a truly collaborative partnership,” said Scott Mullen, the venue’s venerable executive director. “All the ideas we have to refresh the building and keep it looking new and the envy of all the other arenas of our type in the country. People still come in here and think the building is only a few years old. We’ve been able to keep it up well, and now we’re going to make it even better, and update it and add some new bells and whistles that are very cool for guests to enjoy.” Other extras in the deal involve shared services with a diverse company that has grown to become more than a local credit union. Vibrant also offers insurance, title services, financial investment advice and computer software development. This month, the company also begins adding a coffeehouse and kitchen to its credit union branches that stretch along the Interstate 80/74 corridor from Des Moines, Iowa, to Covington, Indiana. “They’ve got all these teams of people that do things from web design to social media to analytics – things that we’re trading for that are also part of the deal,” Mr. Mullen added. “They’re also buying a suite, so there’s a lot of different elements that haven’t been in other (naming rights) deals, which makes it worth more than $4 million over 10 years.” Another of the deal’s perks: Vibrant’s reach includes 55,000 members in the Quad Cities alone. “So, we’ve got a relatively large sounding board to make sure that folks are engaging with this building on a routine basis,” Mr. McCombs said. “We’re also looking at how we utilize this great venue for other things that our members can have for benefits – whether that ends up being early accessing of tickets or company events we hold here – we’re excited to see what the potential could be,” he added. Mr. Mullen said in the arena’s two previous naming rights deals, both TaxSlayer and iWireless, declined to include The Mark in the facility title. “But these guys are from the Quad Cities, so they get it, and they wanted that name back,” Mr. Mullen said. “People call it The Mark anyway. It’s great to be able to refer to it again because it’s a source of pride for so many people in our community.” Mr. McCombs said Vibrant is “thrilled” to be the first local company with its name on the local centerpiece. “Everyone probably loves this place as much as I do ever since the first time I came in the early ‘90s to watch the Globetrotters,” Mr. McCombs said. “But you look around and the colors are still the same. So, our role in this is how we help modernize the look and feel. You’ll see small touches all over that build on what’s been great about The Mark for almost 30 years.”