Sports

Double Teamed: Stadium name games

October 6, 2011


At the end of next year’s NFL season, the AFC and NFC champions will head down to New Orleans for the Super Bowl.  However, as of this past Tuesday, the stadium hosting the game will not be called the Louisiana Superdome, as it has been the previous six times it hosted the event. Instead, the teams will be trading blows in the newly licensed Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The naming rights deal is just the latest in a long line of sponsors throwing their brand onto stadiums, so it’s about time Georgetown got in on the action.  Although the men’s basketball team plays in the Verizon Center, the Georgetown football, lacrosse, and soccer teams play at the painstakingly generic Multi-Sport Field.

While such a functional and descriptive name might be appropriate for your local middle school, it is hardly suitable for a Division I home field. As a major sports power in the D.C. metro region, Georgetown athletics can and should attract a wide range of potential advertising partners to give Multi-Sport Field a legitimate name.

Selling the naming rights to a stadium is highly beneficial for both parties involved. In the Mercedes-Benz deal, the Saints will receive enough cash to no longer need state subsidies, while the automaker gets a fantastic advertising opportunity.  Earlier this year, the Jets and Giants inked a deal with MetLife for the naming rights to their new stadium that will pay up to $20 million annually for 25 years.

Although Fortune 500 companies are certainly itching to bid for the naming rights to the Multi-Sport Field, Georgetown ought to begin on a smaller scale to bolster both the school and community. Not to mention, a quaint little company better suits our breadbox of a stadium. Can you imagine the football team playing under the lights on Homecoming at SweetGreen Stadium? Not only does this encourage a healthy lifestyle, but could also make Georgetown the potential host of a mini Sweet Life Music Festival (cha ching!).

Rather than dye our field an atrocious Boise State blue, we could make our own greenest green you’ve ever seen. “SweetGreen green” would surely become the new fad for collegiate groundskeepers everywhere.

For a more carnivorous option, the school could opt for Wingo’s Field, encouraging our players to soar to new heights while paying tribute to a Georgetown chicken carry-out institution.

Add a few more seats around the field, and the administration could open a bidding war to make the new name the Chipotle or Qdoba Bowl. If the team ever played on a Monday, tickets could be half-price.

Perhaps the most lucrative name could belong to Georgetown’s new most famous tourist attraction—Georgetown Cupcake.  Not only would the Georgetown Cupcake Coliseum be an attraction for students on game days, but it also would undoubtedly lure thousands of misguided tourists looking for long lines and expensive cupcakes.  In addition to more fans, Georgetown athletics would gain added publicity and revenues from appearing on sports broadcasting powerhouse TLC.

The simple fact is that, in sports, everything is for sale.  Seemingly every stadium is now named after a sponsor.  On ESPN, any 30-second phone interview is now brought to you by Subway. Soccer jerseys feature the team’s main sponsor prominently on the chest, with only a small patch just below the shoulder reserved for the team logo.

Heck, Syracuse and Pittsburgh’s defection to the higher-paying ACC have shown us that even entire athletic programs are for sale.

Georgetown has fought the good fight for too long. Now it’s time to cash in. There is simply no place in the modern world of sports for a highly descriptive and functional field name. It may be just the shake-up our football program needs.

Bid for the naming rights to Adam at arosenfeld@georgetownvoice.com



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