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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

Stadium Naming Rights

Saturday, December 09, 2006

One of the things that NPH gets really interested in is the economics of professional sports. There is a connection, we believe, between the money and marketing aspects of our culture's entertainment (sports being the most lucrative part of our culture's entertainment industry), and the efforts of citizens to live a good and virtuous life. What's the connection? NPH is still working that out. But we're sure there is one, and that it is significant to how we live.

So this story in Forbes magazine piques our interest. Citibank has purchased the naming rights to Shea Stadium, the home of baseball's New York Mets. The contract to get those rights is bigger than any other naming rights deal out there, and for a baseball stadium it's almost without precedent. The Forbes story gets into the rationale for the deal, but then presents a slide show of the ten biggest stadium naming rights deals out there.

What concerns NPH about naming rights deals is the way in which the will of the citizenry can get trumped by corporate gain. In Denver (which has one of the top ten naming rights deals), citizens fought and fought to keep the name of its old football stadium for its new one. They even had the voice of the city's former Mayor out front. But "Mile High Stadium" was never going to be chosen for the new stadium. The millions of dollars of revenue available for selling the name makes it a no-brainer for teams like the Broncos; so instead you get "Invesco Field (at Mile High)".

More and more of our public space is taken over as commercialized marketing space. The world of sports is no different. A stadium may be one of the most prominent buildings in a city's skyline; pity to let such a perfectly good billboard go to waste.

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posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 7:02 AM

1 Comments:

In all seriousness, is this substantively any different than the little commemorative plaques that we place all over our churches?
commented by Blogger The Very Lt. Reverend, 7:57 AM  

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