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Monday, November 07, 2011

Brown: Royals reportedly set to corporately rename Kauffman Stadium

Arvest: With the promise of a man…

For perhaps $3-6 million annually over the next 21 years, the Kansas City Royals reportedly are willing to sell out their founder, the late Ewing Kauffman, and rename their ballpark after a bank. Or maybe they’ll just marginalize Kauffman a little bit and call the place “Whichever Bank Field at Kauffman Stadium.”

...KHSB-TV, the NBC station in K.C., reports that the Royals home park might go corporate as soon as Monday:

  Sources close to the Royals say the corporation is a bank but they would not confirm which one.

  However, it is worth noting that the chairman of the board of Arkansas based Arvest Bank is the son of the late Sam Walton of the Walmart family.

  Royals owner David Glass is the former CEO of Walmart.

Repoz Posted: November 07, 2011 at 10:24 AM | 55 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, history, media, royals

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   1. Bob Tufts Posted: November 07, 2011 at 02:18 PM (#3987792)
Kauffman is more than just Ewing or Muriel- it is the Kauffman Foundation, which has done so much with regard to the Kansa City metropolitan area through its grants and programs in education and entrepreneurship.

To name the stadium for some corporate entity - that's sad. To name it after a bank in Arkansas is depressing.
   2. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 07, 2011 at 02:31 PM (#3987796)
Given the low rent status of the Royals' payroll, it's probably appropriate that there would be a connection to Wal-Mart.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 02:32 PM (#3987797)

Kauffman is more than just Ewing or Muriel- it is the Kauffman Foundation, which has done so much with regard to the Kansa City metropolitan area through its grants and programs in education and entrepreneurship.


Well this is a great lesson for those small business owners on how to marginally increase income while pissing off your customers.
   4. ColonelTom Posted: November 07, 2011 at 02:36 PM (#3987800)
Pop quiz, hotshot - there's a glass box in the stadium with millions of dollars in it. The box has a plaque that reads "Kauffman" on it. Your team has one of the lowest payrolls in the league. Do you leave the glass box intact and walk away from the cash, or break the box, take the cash, and find somewhere else to put the plaque? What do you do?

I get the sentimentality, but every one of their AL Central competitors has sold naming rights to their stadiums. It's a sign o' the times.
   5. ColonelTom Posted: November 07, 2011 at 02:39 PM (#3987803)
Also, FTA:
Something to note, according to KHSB's sources: half of the money will revert to Jackson County taxpayers and go toward ballpark maintenance.
   6. Dale Sams Posted: November 07, 2011 at 02:46 PM (#3987806)
What's in a name? Just keep calling it Kauffman if you want. I am.
   7. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 03:12 PM (#3987819)
Something to note, according to KHSB's sources: half of the money will revert to Jackson County taxpayers



Yay!

and go toward ballpark maintenance.



Wait, what?

I wonder what the IRS would say if I said that my entire income has reverted to U.S. taxpayers, and is going towards keeping me in the lifestyle to which I have become accustomed, so I don't owe anything.
   8. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 07, 2011 at 03:27 PM (#3987827)
What's in a name? Just keep calling it Kauffman if you want. I am.

Tell that to the media. It took them about 30 seconds to start calling Candlestick "3 Com" after that first atrocity was announced. They acted as if they were afraid of the Giants keeping them out of the press box or something, and this wasn't just the team broadcasters---it was every newspaper and radio station.
   9. Chicago Joe Posted: November 07, 2011 at 03:30 PM (#3987831)
You'd think Arvest would probably rather go after the Pirates' naming rights.
   10. Greg K Posted: November 07, 2011 at 03:43 PM (#3987842)
What's in a name? Just keep calling it Kauffman if you want. I am.

It's still the SkyDome to me. Though that has more to do with my inability to handle change than any protest against commercialization.
   11. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 03:51 PM (#3987848)
I'm going to bet it's not Arvest, which is mainly an Arkansas/Oklahoma bank (207 of its 240 branches are in those two states) and has relatively little presence in Missouri or Kansas.

I would guess it's U.S. Bank (largest bank in Missouri, 6th largest in Kansas), or else a smaller local institution.
   12. OsunaSakata Posted: November 07, 2011 at 03:57 PM (#3987857)
This is the solution, if you have a problem with corporate names.
   13. TerpNats Posted: November 07, 2011 at 03:59 PM (#3987859)
Before it opened, just about everyone expected the Nationals' home on South Capitol Street would get a corporate name (probably Geico, a major Washington employer and, as we all know, a firm that advertises itself all over the place). But as it gets ready to enter its fifth season, the place is still known as Nationals Park (it will finally be acknowledged by Metro next year when the Navy Yard station is renamed "Navy Yard-Ballpark"), and by now will probably stay that way in the local vernacular even if a naming-rights sponsor is found.
   14. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: November 07, 2011 at 04:06 PM (#3987862)
I'm amazed at the amount of money these things generate. There are so many ballparks out there that I genuinely do not know what they are called because there is no continuity. Both Bay Area teams, the Diamondbacks (I don't think it's the BoB anymore and I don't remember what "BoB" was an acronym for, some bank I think), are the Astros still in MinuteMaid Park? SkyDome is something else...I just don't see the bang for the buck for the businesses on this stuff.
   15. Greg K Posted: November 07, 2011 at 04:10 PM (#3987867)
Though to be fair SkyDome is now Rogers Centre. Which is the name of the company that owns the Jays (and the field). So it's more a case of self-advertising then selling rights.

Though it's still SkyDome to me.

On a certain level I think it makes sense for companies. I don't entirely know what Comerica, PETCO, or SAFECO are. But thanks to naming rights I now know they are something. Which I guess is a goal of advertising.
   16. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 04:14 PM (#3987871)
"BoB" was Bank One Ballpark. It's now Chase Field (JP Morgan Chase bought Bank One a few years ago).

Comerica is a bank, PETCO is a pet supplies store, and Safeco is an insurance company.
   17. Krusty Posted: November 07, 2011 at 04:20 PM (#3987879)
Didn't Denver more or less decide that they were just going to ignore the Broncos' corporate sponsor and stick with Mile High? A similar popular demand thing in Boston with the Garden?
   18. Textbook Editor Posted: November 07, 2011 at 04:22 PM (#3987884)
Here in Philly the Wachovia Center (or whatever it's called these days) is routinely called just "the Center" by the local all-news radio station, as in "XXX reporting live from the Center." That would be how I'd go with it--just call it the Stadium, the Field, the Ballpark, whatever.
   19. Javy Joan Baez (chris h.) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 04:35 PM (#3987893)
What's in a name? Just keep calling it Kauffman if you want. I am.

You'd be surprised how quickly that wears off. I seem to recall some White Sox fans claiming they would never stop calling their ballpark Comiskey, but nowadays pretty much everyone calls it US Cellular Field (or The Cell).

On a certain level I think it makes sense for companies. I don't entirely know what Comerica, PETCO, or SAFECO are. But thanks to naming rights I now know they are something. Which I guess is a goal of advertising.


Maybe, but I don't buy it. So sure, you know those names, but since you don't know what they are, clearly the advertising isn't turning into dollars.

Ad folks talk up a good story about brand identity, but I'd love to see an actual study that demonstrates a real ROI for stadium naming. Personally I think it's got a lot more to do with the ego of executives than anything else.

I mean...AT&T Park. Are there actually people in the US who have not heard of AT&T? Really?
   20. ColonelTom Posted: November 07, 2011 at 04:41 PM (#3987897)
I miss when Philly had the F.U. (First Union) Center. So fitting.
   21. JRVJ Posted: November 07, 2011 at 04:45 PM (#3987900)
Wait, isn't PETCO a(n) (in)famous BTF thread?
   22. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: November 07, 2011 at 05:00 PM (#3987919)
I mean...AT&T Park. Are there actually people in the US who have not heard of AT&T? Really?


Well, in that case, AT&T didn't buy the naming rights, Pacific Bell did. Pac Bell was then bought out by SBC, which later merged with AT&T.
   23. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: November 07, 2011 at 05:08 PM (#3987928)
If this allows the Royals to pay Francoeur, then name the stadium whatever you need to!
   24. Javy Joan Baez (chris h.) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 05:39 PM (#3987952)
Well, in that case, AT&T didn't buy the naming rights, Pacific Bell did. Pac Bell was then bought out by SBC, which later merged with AT&T.


Technically, SBC acquired AT&T and renamed itself AT&T. :)

I'd argue that (A) when Pac Bell was still a thing, every human being within its territory knew what it was, and (B) ditto for SBC.

I'd further argue that the millions spent on naming rights could more effectively be spent on other advertising/marketing with an actual call to action, etc., that has a much better chance of turning into actual revenue.

EDIT: also, #23 is awesome.
   25. Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: November 07, 2011 at 05:53 PM (#3987969)
Which teams have NOT done this? Boston, Cubs, Yankees, Orioles...Nationals, I guess. Anybody else?
   26. Greg Franklin Posted: November 07, 2011 at 05:59 PM (#3987975)
Ad folks talk up a good story about brand identity, but I'd love to see an actual study that demonstrates a real ROI for stadium naming. Personally I think it's got a lot more to do with the ego of executives than anything else.

This has been studied -- I want to say deMause in reference to the multiple Joe Robbie Stadium renames -- and the conclusion is the first corporate name is the one that has the only chance to have a business impact. And it has to be linked to the opening of the stadium as early as possible. If the rename is in last of a long line of renames, or if it comes long after an established non-corporate name, the business impact ("bang for the buck") gets measurably smaller.

By this measure, Comerica, Safeco, Target, PETCO are good corporate names for stadiums. The Cell, not as good. O.co, Minute Maid, AT&T, Landshark are even worse.

So, I'd say the ad folk and the Royals are snookering the corporate client here. It's basically $3-6 million of free money per year they can use to water the grass or improve the suites, while not pissing off the fans. (Free money to them, not free to the doofuses who bank with US Bank and indirectly fund US Bank's egotism.)

Wait, isn't PETCO a(n) (in)famous BTF thread?

It's a pet store AND an infamous BTF thread!
   27. Jick Posted: November 07, 2011 at 06:04 PM (#3987979)
If this allows the Royals to pay Francoeur, then name the stadium whatever you need to!


If OBP is so important, why didn't they name the stadium after it?
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 06:04 PM (#3987980)
It's a pet store AND an infamous BTF thread!

But Petsmart is a much better name. Is it Pets' Mart or Pet Smart. Works either way.
   29. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: November 07, 2011 at 06:06 PM (#3987982)
A lot of people not in Kansas City probably think "Kauffman Stadium" is already a corporate name.
   30. Perry Posted: November 07, 2011 at 06:07 PM (#3987984)
Didn't Denver more or less decide that they were just going to ignore the Broncos' corporate sponsor and stick with Mile High?


The fans, pretty much. The media jumped on the corporate train, though. I seem to recall that some individuals resisted and were told by their employers to use the corporate name if they wanted to keep their jobs.

The corporate name itself was (is) a compromise, though -- "Invesco Field at Mile High," now "Sports Authority Field at Mile High."
   31. Anonymous Observer Posted: November 07, 2011 at 06:08 PM (#3987985)
Does Chico have a bank, or is he only in the bail bonds business?
   32. Nasty Nate Posted: November 07, 2011 at 06:12 PM (#3987989)
Well, in that case, AT&T didn't buy the naming rights, Pacific Bell did. Pac Bell was then bought out by SBC, which later merged with AT&T.


I wonder why so many companies in fields that have constant mergers and other name-changing situations spend so much money on building up name brands that soon become defunct.
   33. Greg K Posted: November 07, 2011 at 06:14 PM (#3987994)
Other Royals news

Melky Cabrera for Jonathan Sanchez is done apparently.
   34. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: November 07, 2011 at 06:16 PM (#3987999)
Which teams have NOT done this? Boston, Cubs, Yankees, Orioles...Nationals, I guess. Anybody else?

In what is nothing short of a miracle, the Dodgers seemed to have gone through hands of FOX and Frank McCourt with the 'Dodger Stadium' name still intact.

And somehow Liberty hasn't cashed out Ted Turner yet. I'm surprised they haven't jumped on that.
   35. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 06:17 PM (#3988001)
Which teams have NOT done this? Boston, Cubs, Yankees, Orioles...Nationals, I guess. Anybody else?

The Rangers sold out to Ameriquest Mortgage a few years back ("Bad Credit Ballpark") complete with replacing the seats in one OF section with their giant bell that rang when a Ranger homered. The deal didn't last too long though as Ameriquest backed out when they went under, and it's been Rangers Ballpark since.
   36. Bob Evans Posted: November 07, 2011 at 06:23 PM (#3988010)
Is it Pets' Mart or Pet Smart.

It is Petsm Art.

I wonder why so many companies in fields that have constant mergers and other name-changing situations spend so much money on building up name brands that soon become defunct.

Higher asking price, natch.
   37. Swedish Chef Posted: November 07, 2011 at 06:23 PM (#3988011)
Which teams have NOT done this? Boston, Cubs, Yankees, Orioles...Nationals, I guess. Anybody else?

The Yankees have a corporate name, their own.

And shouldn't the Cubs try to squeeze some money out the namesake, who can tell that the stadium was named after the family and not the chewing gum?
   38. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 06:42 PM (#3988035)
Royals public statement:


"Amid a variety of reports that the Royals were nearing an announcement today, we felt it necessary to address the situation. Since the renovations were completed prior to the 2009 season, our organization has been open to listening to proposals with regards to a naming rights partner, but at this time no agreement has come to fruition. With that said, there is nothing else to comment on regarding naming rights," the team released in a statement.
   39. Nasty Nate Posted: November 07, 2011 at 06:42 PM (#3988037)
I wonder why so many companies in fields that have constant mergers and other name-changing situations spend so much money on building up name brands that soon become defunct.

Higher asking price, natch.


Why would an acquiring bank pay more for a brand name that they are immediately going to kill and never use? E.G. Does Bank of America get any benefit out of the fact that Fleet used to be the name of an arena?
   40. PETCO Thread Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:02 PM (#3988071)
Wait, isn't PETCO a(n) (in)famous BTF thread?

That I am!
   41. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:05 PM (#3988078)
Which teams have NOT done this? Boston, Cubs, Yankees, Orioles...Nationals, I guess. Anybody else?


In what is nothing short of a miracle, the Dodgers seemed to have gone through hands of FOX and Frank McCourt with the 'Dodger Stadium' name still intact.

And somehow Liberty hasn't cashed out Ted Turner yet. I'm surprised they haven't jumped on that.


Busch Stadium** and Miller Park are in the same category as Wrigley: Ballparks named after corporations that in turn were named for their founders. These don't seem offensive to the ear, since they were both household names to begin with, easily remembered, and not foreign to the ear like "PNC" or "QualComm".

**Which falls into this category only because Gussie Busch's request to rename Sportsman's Park "Budweiser Stadium" was turned down by the other owners.
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:09 PM (#3988084)
Which teams have NOT done this? Boston, Cubs, Yankees, Orioles...Nationals, I guess. Anybody else?

Ummmm, Wrigley? Chewing gum?

Edit: Coke to Andy.

Wonder if Wrigley pays anything to keep the name?
   43. Javy Joan Baez (chris h.) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:18 PM (#3988095)
And shouldn't the Cubs try to squeeze some money out the namesake, who can tell that the stadium was named after the family and not the chewing gum?

Back on Craig Calcaterra's old Shysterball blog, someone in the comments section came up with a beautiful suggestion when it was rumored that the Cubs were looking at naming rights being sold for Wrigley Field.

This person said that if he were in charge of Wrigley Gum, he'd do the following:

* Launch an ad campaign for a new, special edition gum. (Could easily be an existing gum with new packaging.) Call it the "Wrigley Field" edition.
* Pledge that all profits from the gum would go toward purchasing the naming rights for Wrigley Field. (To be clear, that's true profit, so you wouldn't lose a dime.)
* Pledge that the company would further MATCH these profits, penny for penny, for purchasing said rights.

You effectively get the naming rights for half off, you generate a ####-ton of publicity (all positive), you engender all sorts of goodwill from Cub fans everywhere, and you even get a bunch of people to try your gum who otherwise might not have.

Can't remember who suggested this, but to me, the idea is ####### genius.
   44. Javy Joan Baez (chris h.) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:19 PM (#3988096)
Wonder if Wrigley pays anything to keep the name?

They do not.

EDIT: presumably because it is, in fact, a bit different from Miller (though not necessarily Busch): the field was named after the owner/family. That the owner also had an eponymous corporation to pimp was mostly happenstance.
   45. just plain joe Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:35 PM (#3988108)
**Which falls into this category only because Gussie Busch's request to rename Sportsman's Park "Budweiser Stadium" was turned down by the other owners.


The A-B brand "Busch" dates back only to 1955 and was created after Busch bought Sportsman's Park from the Browns. Apparently Gussie Busch figured that if he couldn't name the park after Budweiser he would do the next best thing, start a new brand and name the park after that. For what it's worth I come from a long line of Cardinals' fans and the old ball park in St. Louis was always referred to by my father/uncles/etc. as "Sportsman's Park", not "Busch Stadium", despite the best efforts of the Cardinals' marketing department.
   46. Swedish Chef Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:56 PM (#3988116)
start a new brand and name the park after that.

Should have called the beer "Sportsman's" instead.
   47. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 07, 2011 at 07:59 PM (#3988120)
The A-B brand "Busch" dates back only to 1955 and was created after Busch bought Sportsman's Park from the Browns. Apparently Gussie Busch figured that if he couldn't name the park after Budweiser he would do the next best thing, start a new brand and name the park after that. For what it's worth I come from a long line of Cardinals' fans and the old ball park in St. Louis was always referred to by my father/uncles/etc. as "Sportsman's Park", not "Busch Stadium", despite the best efforts of the Cardinals' marketing department.

Sportsman's Park was already officially named Busch Stadium by the time the 1954 Baseball Guide was issued in March, so that little song-and-dance with Frick must have been germinating in Gussie's mind for at least a full year before the "Busch Bavarian" brand was introduced in 1955.

It's also notable that both BB-Almanac and Wiki say that the 1957 All-Star game was played in Sportsman's Park, whereas the 1958 Baseball Guide and all other Sporting News publications say that it was played in Busch Stadium. Call it the oral tradition vs. The Bible of Baseball, in what essentially amounts to a quasi-theological dispute.
   48. Ron J Posted: November 07, 2011 at 08:47 PM (#3988160)
#6 A major local mall tried to re-name itself by sticking the name of the flagship store in there. Never took.

On the other hand, the local arena has gone through three names and everybody adapted. I guess it just depends.
   49. Dale Sams Posted: November 07, 2011 at 09:19 PM (#3988189)
Some of these parks we're bandying about, I had no idea were the same as the old stadium. I just assmued they were new parks.
   50. Dale Sams Posted: November 07, 2011 at 09:22 PM (#3988191)
What I want to see someday is Boston decide to change the name of Yawkey Way, just for PR purposes, and the shitstorm (and the 3,000 post thread) hit the fan.

Not because I have an opinion on the subject, just for the drama.
   51. Nasty Nate Posted: November 07, 2011 at 09:37 PM (#3988198)
What I want to see someday is Boston decide to change the name of Yawkey Way, just for PR purposes, and the shitstorm (and the 3,000 post thread) hit the fan.

Not because I have an opinion on the subject, just for the drama.


I suggest 'Jersey St'
   52. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: November 07, 2011 at 09:58 PM (#3988218)
What I want to see someday is Boston decide to change the name of Yawkey Way, just for PR purposes, and the shitstorm (and the 3,000 post thread) hit the fan.

Not because I have an opinion on the subject, just for the drama.


I suggest 'Jersey St'

Or "Howard Bryant Boulevard"
   53. Javy Joan Baez (chris h.) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 10:04 PM (#3988227)
You could call it Schilling Place. C'mon, the guy needs some help to overcome his shyness.
   54. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: November 07, 2011 at 10:28 PM (#3988244)
It is Petsm Art.


It's Pet SM Art, doofus. I'd link to some examples of their work, but the nanny won't let me...
   55. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: November 07, 2011 at 10:42 PM (#3988255)
Changing it from Kauffman to anything else...they could call it Dickwad Park and it wouldn't be any more insulting than whatever name the place will get.

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