« Home | Purple Reign? » | Trimming the field » | To Have And Have Not » | Changing the Channel » | Drew and Drew? » | Get Well Soon » | Holding the line » | Repeat After Me » | Money or your life » | Parade Day » 

Saturday, March 05, 2005 

You Know My Name

The Boston Garden is back, sort of. On Thursday, Jeremy Jacobs finally found a real company to put their name on the building formerly known as the Fleet Center when TD BankNorth agreed to pay $6 million a year for the rights. The new name, "TD BankNorth Garden", is certainly a mouthful, and yesterday's Boston Globe was speculating that most folks would just call it the Garden, leaving TD BankNorth with little advertising bang for their buck.

To me, naming rights have to be viewed in two contexts: regional and national. From a regional perspective, TD BankNorth makes an initial splash in the media, and gets several long-term advantages: signage throughout the building, a luxury box for entertaining clients, etc. Whether folks call it just the Garden or not doesn't change those facts. From a personal standpoint, there is a BankNorth branch in my town, but Thursday's announcement was the first time I knew that they had recently sold out to the TD empire and were planning a major expansion in the northeast. (I'm not a BankNorth customer, and I have no ties to the bank, by the way.) Is this going to change my mind the next time I open a bank account? Probably not, but it may convince some New England businesses unhappy about the Fleet/Bank of America merger that they have other options for managing their money.

The nationwide benefits are harder to quantify. Yes, TD BankNorth will get its name mentioned occassionally during game telecasts, though with no NHL and the Celtics rarely on national TV this has questionable value in the short-term. When this trend started, sports fans knew the names of most stadiums, so there was some added prestige benefit. But the fall of Enron and CMGI and other companies diminished that. Plus, with stadium names changing so often, it is impossible to keep track, so I bet no one will notice (or care) if the Patriots are playing in "Bounty Stadium" next season once P&G completes its purchase of Gillette.

Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates