With Truist chosen as the future branding of combined banks BB&T and SunTrust, there could be changes in ballpark-naming rights in MLB, MiLB and indy ball–but we are far from a decision on that level.
In February, it was revealed that financial institutions SunTrust and BB&T Corp. plan to merge. The merger is not expected to be completed until the fall or winter, but on Wednesday it was revealed that the name Truist Financial Corp. would be applied to the combined BB&T-SunTrust institution.
Within the baseball world, the merger will have major implications when it comes to ballpark identities, as both SunTrust and BB&T are active in naming-rights agreements. The most prominent in the group belongs to SunTrust, which serves as the naming-rights partner for SunTrust Park–home of the Atlanta Braves. BB&T, meanwhile, has its moniker on several ballparks at the affiliated minor league and independent levels. Among the facilities that feature its branding include the BB&T Ballpark moniker used for the homes of the Winston-Salem Dash (High A; Carolina League) and Charlotte Knights (Class AAA; International League), BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field for the Williamsport Crosscutters (Short Season A; NY-Penn League), and the brand-new BB&T Point for the High Point Rockers (independent; Atlantic League).
For right now, it remains uncertain exactly when or even if the Truist branding would be applied to ballparks, per this joint statement from the Braves and Suntrust: “The Atlanta Braves and SunTrust have a great partnership, and we will work together on the new name for SunTrust Park. Nothing will change for this season, and SunTrust’s naming rights commitment will continue for years to come.”
As the most prominent among SunTrust/BB&T-branded ballparks, SunTrust Park would most likely attract the most attention during the process of revealing a rebranded identity. Given the role that both institutions have in ballpark naming rights, however, the implications will stretch well beyond the home of the Braves.