Hoffman Estates village board members Monday unanimously approved a naming-rights agreement with Bloomingdale-based NOW Health Group, Inc. that will rechristen the 14-year-old Sears Centre Arena as the NOW Arena on Sept. 1.
Officials said that Transformco, the company that has emerged from Sears Holding Corp.'s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in October 2018, has kept up with its annual $600,000 payments on the last naming-rights agreement that was approved earlier that same month.
But despite having dibs on the naming rights for another two years, Transformco voluntarily stepped aside when it learned of NOW Health Group's interest, which led to the 15-year, $11.25 million deal inked Monday night.
Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod addressed both the old and new naming-rights partners of the village-owned, 11,000-seat arena in a statement released after the village board's vote.
"I am excited to welcome NOW Health Group as the new naming rights partner of the arena," McLeod said in the statement. "There is a lot of coordination that goes into an agreement like this and NOW Health Group has been creative, engaged, and exciting to work with.
"I want to thank Sears/Transformco for their commitment to the venue since the building first opened in 2006," McLeod continued. "We look forward to continuing that relationship as Sears/Transformco remains an active supporter of the community."
NOW Health Group is a family-owned company started in 1968 that has a portfolio of more than 1,500 health and natural-based products that include supplements, sports nutrition, foods, beauty and essential oils.
The company has more than 900 full-time employees, and owns the 13 Fruitful Yield natural health food stores in the Chicago area.
"As a company that values family and community first, this partnership couldn't be a better fit," said Jim Emme, CEO of NOW Health Group, Inc., in a statement released Monday night. "We're excited to support the neighboring village of Hoffman Estates and families from the surrounding communities and beyond."
Ben Gibbs, general manager of the arena, said the venue will bear its current name and appearance through Aug. 31. But preparations are being made to transform it into the NOW Arena as soon as possible after that date.