“RingCentral Coliseum”: Why That Name For Oakland Coliseum Stadium Naming Rights?

Update: “RingCentral Coliseum” but not “Ring Central Coliseum” is official after a three-year, $1 million-a-year deal was struck between the tech company and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority.

This blog post on the RingCentral Coliseum naming rights deal was brought to you by “NHL Trump.” That’s the name of a person who’s become one of a regular set of people who watch my Zennie62 on YouTube videos.

A moment ago, NHL Trump wrote this comment in response to the Zennie62 vlog that RingCentral or Ring Central was the corporate name that was to be placed on the Oakland Coliseum Stadium: “Pretty sad they can’t get a Fortune 500 company to sponsor the stadium. They need a better sales and marketing staff.”


This vlog..

My response was “Uh, ORACLE! ORACLE ARENA!” referring to the other building that comprises the “Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Complex.” And then it occurred to me that the reason RingCentral or Ring Central was embarking on this naming rights deal was to stop their image problem.

A lot of people don’t know who or what RingCentral or Ring Central is, let alone why they go through so much trouble to run the “Ring” and the “Central” together.

So, in honor of my late friend of 40-years, Lars Frykman (who died in his sleep last year April 18th), I ask this: What the crap is that Ring-Whatever company about?

As it turns out, RingCentral is a publicly-traded, 2,500 employee firm based in Belmont, California founded by its current CEO Vlad Shmunis in 1999, and bills itself as the “leading provider of cloud-based communications and collaboration solutions for small business and enterprise companies.”

A quick check confirms what would appear to be just a marketing claim: Synergy Research Group, an independent market research firm, has written that RingCentral is, indeed, the premier cloud-based communication firm in the World, with greater revenue and market share than any other company in its business space. During its life, RingCentral went from bootstrapped to venture backed in 2006, to IPO in 2013.

Not too shabby for a firm NHL Trump on YouTube passed off as not “ a Fortune 500 company.”

RingCentral Was Born In The San Francisco Bay Area Tech Community

But, for me, RingCentral has a familiar, well, “ring” to it, and that’s because I’m starting to think, as I blog this, “RingCentral feels like a firm I encountered at a TechCrunch Disrup event, back in the early days of those tech gatherings.” So, I search, and…I was right.

RingCentral was presenting at TechCrunch Disrupt 2011 San Francisco, and I was there, as press for my second TC Distrupt. And if, memory serves, Vinod Khosla, the noted tech investor was the one who brought the firm to TC Disrupt 2011.

So, what’s the point of all of this?

We’re seeing latest chapter in the growth and maturation of a San Francisco Bay Area-borne tech company from bootstrap startup to VC-backed startup, to large and growing firm with its name on the Oakland Coliseum Stadium.

RingCentral is the prime example of the San Francisco Bay Area Tech Growth Machine at work. And I have to admit to being rather tickled that I was in the company’s orbit back then.

It feels a tad like this fellow I met at the 2006 San Francisco Vloggercon convention of what would come to be called “pioneer vloggers” who was talking about something called “Voiceover IP.” He then started a New York event called the “140 Conference” because the communications game-changing possibilities of Twitter facinated him. His name’s Jeff Pulver, and if you’re thinking, “Isn’t that the guy who started Vonage?”, you would be correct. The guy in this Zenne62 video blog…

And guess what? In 2007, Jeff named Vlad Shmunis and RingCentral to his “Pulver 100” group. That’s a kind of club of firms and people that have come to create advanced IP telephony technologies.

Small world – but I digress.

RingCentral’s story should be an inspiring one to note for tech entrepreneurs, and gives me new energy for Zennie62Media.

Congratulations to RingCentral. And, I say, before the Coliseum JPA Board does, “Welcome to Oakland.”

Everyone will know your name.

Stay tuned.

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