Wednesday, February 13, 2013

On City/Corporate naming rights, why settle for playing defense?

So, an online dating site has offered the City of Sugarland $500K to change their name to SugarDaddies.com which has the Houston Business Journal harnessing their creative side in order to offer suggestions for other Houston area cities to follow suit. (I'm especially fond of Clearasil Lake City)  And while I agree with the HBJ that the idea has some merit, I feel that $500K is way to small of an amount for what is, essentially, advertising in perpetuity, and would also require taxpayer expenditures in order to change the signage, letterhead etc.

I think however, that the real opportunity here is in becoming the aggressor and finding these branding opportunities instead of having companies just come to us with products for which we might not have any interest in the first place.

Changing the name of Huntsville to "Heinz' Ketchup Ville" sounds OK on the surface, but what if they went totally outside the box and changed their name to "Microsoft?"  Who says the names in question need to match up with the corporations involved?  Wouldn't it be better to try and curry some political favor by actively seeking out companies given taxpayer subsidies through the emerging technology fund?

I don't know about you but I think Houston is ideally situated to capture emerging economies in Central and South America.  We already know that "EaDo" is a terrible name for the area encompassing Eastern Downtown Houston and it's surrounding area, so how about renaming it "Bimbo Downtown Houston?"  If you don't like that, PEMEX Houston could work as well.  The good folks on Washington Ave. need to be talking to Pabst Blue Ribbon if they aren't already, and River Oaks should be in serious discussions with Rolls Royce if, for no other reason, than preventing Maserati from stepping in.  And if we don't sign up Lionel to sponsor MetroRail we're failing as a city.

I think it goes without saying that the biggest renaming opportunity of all has yet to be discussed.  Given the obsession with celebrity that's currently holding Houston's media and hip-class in thrall it's quite obvious that we all should be living in Beyonce, TX.

Granted, Bimbo Downtown Beyonce would be out, but suddenly Cover Girl would be a shoe-in.

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