School Considers Selling Naming Rights
The proliferation of ad creep has made it far too easy for institutions in need of money to turn to marketers for relief. Naming building and stadiums was once taboo. Now, it's odd if a sports arena is not named after a marketer. A school in New Jersey sold the naming rights to its gymnasium to local grocery store Shop-Rite and now an elementary school in suburban Detroit is considering courting marketers to name its new school.
Just a generation or two ago, the practice of slapping a brand name on a public space would have been met with disdain, disgust and downright disbelief. Now, apparently with no other means to get much needed cash or because organizations are just too lazy to devise better means of acquiring funds, it's become the norm to seek out marketers to pay the bills. It all means anything can be bought. Everything is for sale. And advertising has every right to be wherever the hell it pleases.
Ten years ago, the Boston Garden became the Fleet center. With Fleet just bought out by Bank of America who chose not to retain naming rights to the Fleet center, TD BankNorth stepped in. The stadium will now be called TD BankNorth Garden. TD BankNorth, acknowledging the history of the place, in it's promotional naming campaign urges Boston to "go ahead, call it the Garden again." While this is not the perfect solution, it's a respectful move by a marketer that seems to understand just how far out of whack naming rights activity has progressed.