Corporate stadium naming is ridiculous

“I have not seen that putting a name on a field elevates your brand,” Sexton said. “The basic idea of a brand is not that they know your name, but what your name stands for.”

Naming a stadium: Good marketing or a waste? (from MSNBC)

The timing and circumstances of the New York Mets new stadium naming, Citigroup (citi), the state of the economy, and the government bailout of banks including citi puts the spotlight on the corporate stadium naming issue.

From the stadium owners’ perspective, I totally understand offering the stadium naming rights to the highest bidder. It makes business sense. If some company is dumb enough to give you millions to name the building that you still own, take the money without hesitation and run.

From the naming corporation’s perspective, I can understand how they justify the purchase as a marketing endeavor. Your company name is broadcast on TV and radio, printed on the tickets and in newspapers and magazines, and posted on web sites for at least every game and probably also on days when no games are scheduled. That’s a lot of exposure.

But from my perspective as a sports fan and consumer, corporate naming of stadiums is annoying and has no effect on my purchasing habits whatsoever. For example, the home of the Houston Astros is Minute Maid Park. It’s meaningless and 99% likely that the name will not last the duration of the stadium’s existence. The name doesn’t resonate and make you think “Houston” or “Astros” when you hear or see it. Hell, on occasion, I call the place The Stadium Formerly Known as Enron Field. Again, a meaningless and non-enduring name.

I don’t drink any more Minute Maid juice than I did before the stadium was renamed. Why? They should spend less on stadium naming and more on improving the quality of the product. I happen to like the Simply line of juices which I later learned is Minute Maid / Coca-Cola owned brand, but still the stadium name had nothing to do with my purchasing decision. I don’t remember exactly, but it was probably more traditional product marketing that attracted me to try first Simply Orange juice and, later, Simply Apple juice (which rocks, by the way). By traditional, I mean, the shape of the container, the label, the price point, and the placement in the grocery store.

I would be ok with corporate naming of stadiums if, indeed, that company owned the building. Then, and only then, does it make sense.

I won’t even get started on college football bowl games.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *