August 9th, 2001
Nuisance Ads: Buying the Naming Rights to Stadiums Is a Dumb Idea
By Leigh Montville
The state of Louisiana on Tuesday selected a California marketing firm to find a corporate buyer for the naming rights to the Louisiana Superdome. The marketing firm in the past has negotiated a 20-year deal for $185 million to name the Philips Arena in Atlanta and another 20-year deal for $116 million to name the Staples center in Los Angeles. The state of Louisiana obviously is looking for a similar windfall from the Superdome.
Well, here’s my message to any company foolish enough to put up the money: I, the consumer, cannot remember the name of any arenas or stadiums anymore. And I am not alone.
The mind has rebelled at these Qualcomms and Delta Centers and MCI whatevers of the land. Which is which? Who knows? Who cares? The same little shutoff that keeps the dates of in-laws birthdays, the names of car salesmen and the men in Julia Roberts’ life from registering is at work here. A name on a stadium is nothing more than an ineffectual, nuisance ad.
An example is the new Mile High Stadium in Denver. Some company bought the naming rights—whatever the new name is—and Denver columnist Woody Paige told his public that he, himself, was going to call the stadium "The Diaphragm." The company has said it was going to sue Woody for something or other. It all will be settled somehow.
I only know that I remember "The Diaphragm." I have no idea what the company’s name is.
- Posted by on February 24th, 2006