What's In A Name?
Listening to the BBC Radio commentary of Bradford City's excellent League Cup win over Arsenal on Tuesday night it was interesting that the commentator referred throughout to the game being played at Valley Parade despite the stadium naming rights currently being held by a local company.
Newcastle United, of course, attracted derision when they attempted to rename their famous St James` Park ground with the name of owner Mike Ashley's Sports Direct firm.
But for those grounds that begin life with a sponsor's name in place, such as the Ricoh Arena, it is that name that becomes embedded in the mind.
City fans talk of going to 'The Ricoh' as a matter of course and, perhaps, without any association with the Japanese company whose logo has been atop the stadium since it opened in 2005.
With the current rent row threatening Coventry City's time at the ground it is interesting to see just how many times in a week that the name Ricoh is mentioned across a host of media outlets and how often that is because of the football club (in both good and bad stories).
Presumably the cost of this 'advertising' can be quantified and factored in to the price of sponsoring a stadium (Ricoh reportedly paid £10m in 2005 for a 10-year deal) but in the complicated case of CCFC, ACL and the other parties with an interest in the stadium can it be worked out which party provides the company with the majority of its mentions?
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