Rangers, Pelicans cut deals to make you call their buildings by ridiculous names

The Texas Rangers announced yesterday that they’d sold the naming rights to the Ballpark at Arlington (formerly Ameriquest Field, until Ameriquest broke the economy and went belly-up) for an unknown sum, and that the stadium would henceforth be known as “Globe Life Park in Arlington.” Which is one of the worst names for anything ever — the Fort Worth Star Telegram helpfully noted that “fan reaction to the new name on social media sites ranged from unimpressed to outraged, with comments such as ‘barf,’ ‘lame’ and ‘at least they kept Arlington in the name’” — or at least was, until this a couple of hours later:

The New Orleans Pelicans and Louisiana-based Smoothie King have reached a 10-year agreement to rename the New Orleans Arena as the Smoothie King Center.

On the bright side, at least it’s clear what a Smoothie King sells, unlike a Globe Life. Still, it’s getting increasingly hard to see why anyone should be using these branded names for buildings, since they change about as often as soccer jersey logos. (Thankfully, no one has tried to insist that we call them “Qatar Airways FC Barcelona.” Yet.) It’s easy enough to call the Rangers’ ballpark “the Rangers’ ballpark” (in fact, it’s officially been “The Rangers Ballpark in Arlington” the last few years, not that I’ve noticed), call the New Orleans arena “the New Orleans Arena,” and so on. At least until the teams give us a cut of the product-placement moolah. Hey, New York City’s transit agency does it!

8 comments on “Rangers, Pelicans cut deals to make you call their buildings by ridiculous names

  1. I still think “Full Sail Arena” for Orlando City’s new ground would top them all, fwiw.

  2. It’s actually fairly common to see names like Toyota Cheetahs and Cell C Sharks in Southern Hemisphere sports (those two examples are from South African rugby). And that doesn’t even address the Japanese tradition of city/corporate names (think: a nation of Hershey Bears).

  3. Yeah, those did occur to me (as did Red Bull New York). But in Japan they’re names of the actual team owners, right, not just rent-a-sponsors? I’m not sure why this makes a difference, but it does somehow — just like “Wrigley Field” doesn’t feel like a corporate name even though it obviously helped advertise the gum.

  4. “But in Japan they’re names of the actual team owners, right, not just rent-a-sponsors?”

    Yup, at least it is in baseball.

  5. While, as a fan, I’d never actually wear a soccer jersey with a sponsor on it; I’d rather have the players wear sponsorships than have the game constantly stop for extended TV timeouts.

  6. The venue in Toronto has been called the Air Canada Centre since 1999 (I think it might be a year earlier while the venue was under construction at the time when the Raptors and the Maple Leafs had separated owners. It was the Raptors that started the concept of the new arena. The Leafs didn’t want nothing to do with it and wanted their own arena. It wasn’t until early 1999 when the Leafs bought the Raptors). That has to be the longest naming rights sponsor for a sports venue in North America as far as I know. If not someone will correct me.