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December 24, 2007

It started with Candlestick…

Filed under: — brendan @ 09:51 IST

Up at 5am with an awake 1 year-old, you find ways to keep yourself amused. Watching the NASN cable channel in Ireland, they had a college football game between Cincinnati (the victor) and Southern Miss (the defeated). But it all went wrong when the announcer said, “…here on the PapaJohns.com Bowl…”.

Back in 1996, Candlestick Park was whored out by the city of San Francisco to 3Com under the guise of a money-raising marketing campaign. The phenomenon has happened all over the place: in 2006 Wired did a great article tracing the lineage of US Cellular Field, Mellon Arena, HP Pavilion, and the rest.

Now we’re being thrown into a world of registered trademark bowl games. Poinsettia, Holiday, Rose, we’ve still got some. But they’ve got a short life to live before they’ll be the Intel UPS Micro$oft Samsung AT&T festivals of the future. Renaming actual sports events is a step further into a marketing abyss where we live surrounded by logos and posters and billboards.

Perhaps Blade Runner deserves more credit; New York and Tokyo, among other cities, are well on their way.

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