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Posted by on Jan 18, 2010 in At TMV | 5 comments

What’s In A Name?

I was watching football on TV yesterday. The Vikings trouncing the Cowboys. I really enjoyed the game because I’m a Philadelphia Eagles fan and the Eagles got trounced by the Cowboys the previous week. A petty revenge, sure, but you take what you can get.

There was an unusual number of commercials during this event, It’s like that on television these days. When they don’t have enough advertisers to fill every break in the action on the field, they fill them with promos for other shows on the same station. That’s not a problem for me. Hey, we’re all trying to get by in tough times.

One thing I did find rather odd, however, was the many faux commercials built round naming. Since cities and towns began renaming public places for private parties in order to earn a few extra bucks a couple of decades ago, it seems that virtually everything and everyplace is now up for name change sale or lease.

Here’s a few examples from yesterday’s Vikings-Cowboys game: It was played in the Mall of America Stadium. Midway through the game viewers were treated to insights on the Sprint Half-time Report, followed by a look at the first half’s important numbers shown on the Burger King Scoreboard. Over the next two quarters I learned that Pepsi (with real sugar) is now the official soft drink of the NFL, and that the next Superbowl is no longer just the Superbowl but the Bridgestone Superbowl.

Oops. Gotta go. Time to do my Pringles weekly laundry, followed by a Ford Focus coffee break, all topped up with work on my Acme Markets assignment for a business magazine. And a happy Victoria’s Secret Martin Luther King to you all.

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  • JeffersonDavis

    Welcome to commercialized sports, Michael.

    Oddly enough, some of your more “forward” thinking colleges and even high schools are doing the same thing with their stadiums. More money = more equipment.

  • New Cat

    I’m still waiting expectantly for the Johnny-On-Spot Toliet Bowl. Perhaps it could be played with the two worst teams in the league.

  • DLS

    I noticed the commercialism when it first happened decades ago, and resented it from the start, first with sporting events — the Nokia Sugar Bowl, the Mazda US National Gymnastics Championships, on and on. Selling the stadium and arena naming rights (“3[-]Com Park”) was only a matter of time. So far we have yet to see team names sell their names (example: “the Nike Dallas Cowboys”), but this, too, is possible someday. Be it for commercial or political reasons, many of us resent it and defy it; to legions of people the close-in airport in Washington, DC remains “National” and it’s Candlestick Park.

  • dduck12

    The Eagles beat the Giants, I hate them. The Cowboys cream the Giants, I hate them. The Vikings kick the heck out if the Cowboys. I love them. Favre for President, 2012.

  • shannonlee

    In most other countries, the team’s biggest sponsor has its name splashed across the front of the team jersey. The team I once played for changed its entire name in order to bring in a large sponsor. Professional athletics is about money and entertainment, nothing else.

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