Guitar-maker scores 10-year deal for L.A. venue.

Nashville-based Gibson Guitar Corp. has locked up a 10-year naming-rights deal for Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, Calif. The venue will now be known as the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal Citywalk.

The amphitheater, which opened in 1972, is owned by Universal Studios and leased to House of Blues Concerts. It is one of the L.A. market's most high-profile venues.

This is Gibson's first naming-rights deal. "It's a very big deal for us," says chairman/CEO Henry Juszkiewicz. While he wouldn't divulge Gibson's investment in Universal, he says, "It's a lot. And the key to a naming-rights deal is you really need to be active. If we really do it right, it could cost us as much to administrate the deal and take advantage of the opportunities as the original naming-rights investment."

Sources value the deal at more than $10 million.

House of Blues Concerts, which exclusively books more than 100 shows per year at the amphitheatre, will partner with Gibson on a select number of special events annually.

As part of the agreement, Gibson will invest in on-site enhancements, including an exclusive new skybox, logo integration and design work, uniform branding for all employees and additional visuals for the Universal Studios Backlot tram tour.

A joint marketing plan has been activated in conjunction with the House of Blues team; it will include broadcast, print and Internet spots.