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"Take Me Out To the (Ad Message Here) Ball Game!"

The Wall Street Journal reviews stadium naming deals and finds little point in raging against the practice, but even scanter evidence that brand sponsors always get what they're paying for.
"A study in a 2002 edition of the Journal of Advertising Research showed that naming-rights deals do help the companies—at least in the short term. The stock prices of 49 companies studied rose an average 1.7% the day they announced such agreements.

"But a 2003 paper in the Journal of Sports Economics that tracked the stocks of 54 companies for 20 days after the signings showed that only two showed a statistically significant difference—and in both cases, the stock price fell. "Naming rights is about one thing: boys with toys," says the study's co-author, Michael Leeds, an economics professor at Temple University."
Health care boys (and girls) like toys, too. There's Parkview Field in Ft. Wayne, IN, a $3 million deal over ten years.

The Methodist Hospital System is the "Official Healthcare Provider" of the Houston Texans and the naming rights sponsor for the Methodist Training Center, a practice bubble next to Reliant Stadium.

And there's WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC, a 3 year deal at $300,000 per.

And Silver Cross Field in Joliet, IL, home to the Joliet Jackhammers of minor league baseball fame.

Meanwhile, there's an opportunity in Omaha. "Alegent Stadium" anybody?

Though the benefits are hard to quantify, those writing the checks are pretty sure they're real. "A no-brainer" opines one spokeswoman in the WSJ's article. Umm-hmmm.

She must know something I don't, like what's happening this weekend as we watch Super Bowl XLIV 'live' from Miami's Sun Life Stadium. I guess I'm supposed to wake up Monday morning, not with a hangover, but with a strange urge to buy some financial products. Oh right! I need more life insurance.

Play Ball!


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