Professional sports is big business. With big business comes big expenses. With big expenses comes the need to generate big revenues. One way to do make the big bucks is for sporting facilities to sell their “naming rights” to a corporation.
For purists, this corporate “name game” is a travesty. For realists, it’s a necessity.
Either way, the issue of naming rights opens up a huge door to a number of pros and cons.
Here are just a few.
In Minnesota, the Vikings home field is named “Mall of America at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.”
Viking players with a growing family get 30 percent discount on all kid carriers at the mall’s two Baby Gap locations.
At any time during a game, the field can be invaded by the local mall-walker club from Duluth.
In Washington, the Redskins play at “FedEx Field.”
For Redskins players who are feeling alone, like a castaway, and in need of a friend during the game, the face of Wilson is added to every game ball.
Washington Redskins cheerleading squad replaced with FedEx employee of the month Gwen Porps.
The Indianapolis Colts home field is called “Lucas Oil Stadium.”
After home victory, Colts players get the opportunity to spend time with everyone’s favorite Texas tea tycoons, the Clampetts.
After home loss, Colts players must spend time with George and Laura.
In New England, the Patriots call “Gillette Stadium” their home.
Before every game, shaving stubble collected from the locker-room floor is applied to all the wide receivers' gloves, making them extra grippy.
New England mascot Pat Patriot replaced by Vic “The All-American Hair Ball.”
The Pittsburgh Steelers' home field is called “Heinz Field.”
After a tough home loss, players can apply condiment to themselves for added sympathy.
The instant thrill of dumping a tub of Gatorade on a coach is replaced with the agonizing disappointment of waiting for a drop of ketchup to land on his head.