Mark my words, it’s gonna happen.
Naming rights have become a little bit nuts. Candlestick Park became 3Com Park then Monster Park only to (finally) permanently return to Candlestick Park. Oklahoma City’s Bricktown Ballpark briefly became Southwestern Bell Ballpark until local uproar forced the company to go with Southwestern Bell Bricktown Ballpark, now AT&T Bricktown Ballpark. And please, don’t ever say the words Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium to any University of Oklahoma alum. It’s Owen Field at Memorial Stadium, thankyouverymuch.
I jokingly said to my husband a year or so ago that eventually a state will sell naming rights. You’ll drive through Arkansas brought to you by Wal-mart; change planes in Missouri brought to you by Hallmark; or find yourself traveling to Minnesota brought to you by Target on a business trip.
It’s inching ever closer to reality.
Last year Texas became the first state to sell corporate sponsored license plates netting the state about $2 million for their general revenue fund. Now Florida, Illinois and Virginia are considering similar programs. California is even considering digital plates that would display corporate advertising.
I can’t be completely hypocritical. If it weren’t for advertising, I wouldn’t have a career. So let’s just wrap this up by saying —
Wow, wouldn’t it be nice if these corporate plates really re-imagined the design of license plates? And if a corporation bought the naming rights to a stadium/building/state and didn’t change the name, I’d go out of my way to give them my business.