Naming Rights – The New Way to Support Our Country
January 10th, 2012
For the next 25 years, MetLife has secured the naming rights for the new stadium where the New York Giants and Jets will play. Welcome to MetLife Stadium, football fans! The cost: $17 to $20 million per year, which averages out to almost half-a-billion dollars all in. When I first learned this little marketing factoid, I had two immediate thoughts: wow – that’s a lot of money; and two, if I’d just spent that much money, I would have come up with a much more creative name for the stadium.
My third thought on the matter didn’t pop into my head until this week after reading all the dismal stories on the state of the U.S. economy. One in six Americans below the poverty line, the U.S. debt in the trillions, so many people unemployed – it got me thinking. How can we get out of this terrible mess? That’s when I remembered the MetLife story and the idea came to me – we (being the U.S.) could sell the rights to name government buildings. For example, perhaps Sikorsky would want to lease the rights to rename the Pentagon for a couple years and call it The Sikorsky building or Sikorsky’s Pentagon. That would have to be worth a couple million, right? Then there’s the treasury, the post-office . . . the list goes on and on.
And then I thought even bigger. Perhaps we should lease the rights to rename our country for a while. China, our largest creditor, would definitely be in the running. What do you think they’d go for – the People’s Republic of China II or China’s United States of America? Or how about Apple, it’s a rich company – then we’d simply be iUSA. The whole notion of selling our country’s name doesn’t sit well with me, but for a couple trillion dollars and in the hands of the right marketing firm, maybe it would be worth it to get our economy back on track.