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what's in a name?

You Should Probably Get Used to the Name ‘New Meadowlands Stadium’

The Jets and Giants still haven't sold the naming rights to their new stadium, which isn't much of a surprise. After Citigroup agreed to pay $400 million over twenty years to slap its name on the new Mets ballpark, something or other happened with the economy, and suddenly megacorporations were less inclined to fork over huge sums of money for such things.

In the Times, Richard Sandomir (whose 2008 article effectively ended the teams' talks with Allianz, a German company that insured Nazi facilities at Auschwitz) quotes a marketing executive who says that the market for naming rights is completely frozen right now. That the Nationals still play in Nationals Park and the Cowboys still play in Cowboys Stadium would seem to back that up.

But don't feel too bad for the local football franchises (and we're guessing that if you've recently sold all your earthly possessions to afford a personal-seat license in the new place, you probably don't anyway). Despite the lack of a naming-rights sponsor, the teams have already made a killing by signing four so-called cornerstone partners: MetLife, Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi, and Verizon. Each of those companies is on the hook for $8 million a year — which Sandomir points out is more than many companies pay for naming rights. By our math, those four deals total more than even the Mets are getting from Citigroup. So until JetBlue or Green Giant takes the advice of the Interwebs and realizes their company name would be perfect, "New Meadowlands Stadium" will live on.

What's in a Naming Right? Certainly Not Cash [NYT]

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Photo: Wikipedia