It’s not that far-fetched to think that a number of National Football League owners are obsessing about their franchise’s income statements right about now. Particularly focused on cash flow are those who’ve taken on a pile-up of debt to pay for a new stadium (Jerry Jones, Dan Rooney) or non-football business ventures (Daniel “Six Flags” Snyder).
How long then will it be before the owners think of a way to monetize their most lucrative asset—their team name (also known in marketing circles as their team’s “brand.”) Yes, it’s not difficult to envision desperate or even just plain old greedy owners selling their team’s naming rights to a deep-pocketed company looking to build mindshare among today’s somewhat disenfranchised fans.
They’ve already done it with stadiums—Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Baltimore’s M&T Bank (who?) Stadium, Mr. Snyder’s FedEx Field. So it’s no great leap to imagine these pairings between NFL teams and some excellent corporate sponsors.
|Baltimore Ravens||Baltimore RayBans|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Cincinnati Ben Gays|
|Cleveland Browns||UPS Browns|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||ArcelorMittal Steelers|
|Houston Texans||H&R Block Taxens|
|Indianapolis Colts||National Rifle Association Colt Revolvers|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Geico Gekkos|
|Tennessee Titans||Sears Craftsman Tightens|
|Buffalo Bills||Buffalo Wild Wings|
|Miami Dolphins||Shanghai Ahi Tuna Producers Association|
|New England Patriots||U.S. Patriot Act|
|New York Jets||Gulfstream Jets|
|Denver Broncos||Cialis Bucking Broncos|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Ralph Lauren HandkerChiefs|
|Oakland Raiders||Raid BugKillers|
|San Diego Chargers||Duracell Chargers|
|Chicago Bears||World Wildlife Fund Bears|
|Detroit Lions||United Auto Workers Strykers|
|Green Bay Packers||FedEx Shippers|
|Minnesota Vikings||Viking Rangers|
|Atlanta Falcons||Atlantis Resort Tourists|
|Carolina Panthers||Dockers Pantsers|
|New Orleans Saints||Vatican City Saints|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Tampax Defenders|
|Dallas Cowboys||Jerry’s Cowboys|
|New York Giants||New York Trumps|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Philly Cream Cheese|
|Washington Redskins||CapitalOne DebtRunners|
|Arizona Cardinals||Taco Bell Border Patrollers|
|San Francisco 49ers||Google 10100s|
|Seattle Seahawks||Seattle’s Best Seahawks|
|St. Louis Rams||St. Louis Ram Trucks|
So, here’s to a little financial creativity on the owners’ part to keep the money coming in, so we can all look forward to seeing our favorite teams–albeit with slightly different monikers–compete each week on TGIFriday Night Football.
Bobservations is written by me, Bob London. More of my writing can be seen at www.bob-servations.com. I’m also president of London, Ink LLC, a full-service marketing and communications firm and serve as a Virtual VP of Marketing for growth-stage companies that need hands-on project-based leadership in marketing strategy and planning. More information is available at www.londonink.com.