Would somebody please find or write an article on the history of building sponsorship? I’d like to read one. I remain utterly unconvinced that paying large sums to get your name on a sports or cultural facility is worthwhile.
Here in Vancouver, the local NHL team plays in GM Place. Ironically, the term is so common that I never, ever associate the building with a car company. It doesn’t help that lots of people call it The Garage as well.
I have no proof, but I feel like some larger corporations are starting to agree with me. Witness these recent BC renamings:
- Interior Savings Centre (formerly Riverside Coliseum and SportMart Place)
- The Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre (formerly just the Stanley Theatre)
- Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre (formerly just Memorial Centre)
Those first two aren’t exactly household names, are they? I’m thinking that the sponsorship bar has maybe been lowered in recent years?
But then there’s the whole ill-advised renaming of ScienceWorld to TelusSphere. I haven’t heard a single person use the latter term, unless they’re speaking pejoratively. When I hop on the harbour ferry, I still ask for ScienceWorld and the guy still takes me there.
UPDATE: I just saw The Simpsons episode Helter Shelter, in which the family attends a hockey game at “Gee Your Hair Looks Terrific Arena”. Then, of course, the termites attack.