Friday, December 28, 2007

Renaming Wrigley Would be Futile

Rick Morrissey ain't sentimental about the name of Wrigley Field, but he's right about how anyone buying the rights to slap their own name on the joint had best beware:

I have news for whoever buys the naming rights to Wrigley. You might think that because you have plunked down $100 million, the park will be called Wrigley Field at IBM Park or some other ode to capitalism you have coined. It won't be. Everybody will continue calling it Wrigley Field. Forever and ever, amen. That's the closest I'll get to sentimentality on this . . .

. . .The economists can tell you how much the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company profits from having one of the most recognizable ballparks in America carrying its name. Naming rights to stadiums obviously wouldn't cost so much if there weren't a proven financial benefit to it. And yet, I don't hear "Wrigley Field" and immediately think "Doublemint." I hear "Wrigley Field" and immediately think "beer."

That last point is worth thinking about. Following last week's post about renaming Wrigley, a reader named Mike noted how appropriate "Old Style Park" would be for Wrigley, and I have to admit, such a move would be genius.


Pete Toms said...

Good news for fans on stadium naming rights. There seems to be less of it.

Nationals Park opens in the spring without a corporate name. Hicks hasn't resold the naming rights to his park post Ameriquest.

NYU profs Robert Boland & Lee Igel wrote an opinion piece for SBJ on this subject during the summer. According to them, many of these naming rights deals don't "run to their contractual terms". Resultingly the bank / corporation that buys the rights after the first guy has gone belly up, buy it for a fraction of the cost of what the first guy paid.

I don't like the corporate names, I don't think any fans do. I went to a baseball game in Oakland several years ago - courtesy of Enron but I digress - and I couldn't have told you 2 weeks later what the name of the stadium was.

On the horizon, what sort of branding ( ugh ) will we see at the new Yankee Stadium?

Urayoan said...

Apparently when the Giants were building their park and trying to sell the naming rights, the approached Ralh Lauren with the tought to name it the Polo Grounds. I don't remember where I read this but that would have been pretty cool.

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