Stupid Stadium Naming Rights – Where Does It Stop?
The fact that Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL, sold their stadium naming rights to The GEO Group should not really surprise anyone. The Geo Group is a private prison corporation that will have its name emblazoned on Florida Atlantic’s stadium from 2013 until 2025.
The rights for Geo Group Stadium cost $6 million for 12 years and was paid for by Florida Atlantic University alumnus George Zoley, the CEO of The Geo Group.
Obviously the money will help to run Florida Atlantic University’s athletic programs. Some people are upset over the association of prison with academics.
The question is why? As we pointed out in a previous article, if companies are stupid enough to pay millions of dollars to market their product (uselessly), and the teams, cities and owners are willing to take that money regardless of what the new arena or stadium name represents, what’s the harm? Besides the obvious lack of integrity of attaching a meaningless name to a building that may or may not be revered, who cares besides a handful of people like me?
As far as being corporate whores, these higher learning institutions are merely following the lead of the NCAA who have sold just about every championship bowl or tournament name to the highest bidder.
With the exception of a handful of teams, the professional teams lost their integrity long ago when it comes to naming stadiums. In our cash starved society everyone is trying to make an extra buck. So don’t be surprised to see in the near future advertising on U.S. sports teams uniforms, just like European soccer leagues and NASCAR have.
So where does it stop?
If the trends keep going, are these potential corporate stadium names too far fetched for the future?
The Embalmers Supply Company Arena Cardinal Casket Company Stadium Chicago Crime Scene Clean-up Arena Cialis Stadium Durex Stadium Penomet Arena Bunny Ranch Stadium Ashley Madison Arena California Powder Works Stadium ESCO Arena Terminix Stadium The Charles River Wister Rat Arena Millcreek Manure Spreader Stadium Direct Cremation Company Arena
UPDATE 4-3-13 – After much protest the Geo Group pulled their donation and the stadium will not be named for the private prison company.