It’s the [Your Name Here] hot dog stand at Yankee Stadium

Enough with the negativity
ALDS game times announced

Got a few million dollars lying around? Want to stick your name on something at the new Yankee Stadium? Well, boy, do I have a sponsorship deal for you.

According to a Tyler Kepner original in The Times today, the Yankees won’t be selling the naming rights to the new Yankee Stadium. They will, however, be selling the naming rights to everything else you can imagine inside the new stadium.

Now, the Yankees know they are giving up a lot of money to keep the stadium name pure, and ostentatious luxury boxes aside, I like their attitude. “The dollars we passed were incomparable,” Yankees COO Lonn Trost said to Kepner. “Having said that, you wouldn’t rename the White House, you wouldn’t rename Grant’s Tomb and you wouldn’t rename the Grand Canyon. This is Yankee Stadium, and this will always be Yankee Stadium.”

Here’s where it gets interesting:

As they look ahead to the new Yankee Stadium, which will open in 2009, the Yankees have found an alternate way to collect some of the money they might have made from naming rights. They will announce today that they have hired the Creative Arts Agency to market partnerships to corporate sponsors. “It’s an opportunity for a company to partner with the Yankees and say, ‘We support the Yankees’ decision to keep the stadium as Yankee Stadium,’ ” said Mike Levine, the co-head of CAA Sports.

Knowing that, he said, the partnership with CAA will help the Yankees benefit financially by offering expanded sponsorship deals to companies in the new ballpark. Trost and Levine said specific plans were still in development, but there would be no advertising on uniforms, which is against Major League Baseball rules, and Trost stressed the ballpark would not be cluttered with corporate logos.

Currently, much of the Yankee broadcast on TV is brought to you by something or other. (That’s a post for another day, actually.) Nowadays, at the stadium, mostly everything has a sponsor too. The pick-a-song, Yankees DJ feature is brought to you by XM Satellite Radio; the fan marquee is sponsored by Snapple; the Yankees hat tease comes at us courtesy of New Era; and Modell’s gives away gift certificates galore in between innings.

So what’s next? With these new sponsorship deals in place, the upper deck could end up being brought to you by Upper Deck. Maybe the Beers of the World stand will become the Foster’s Beers of the World Stand. And take your pick of toilets: The line at the Geico’s restroom is shorter than the line at the Bank of American bathroom.

Outside of the naming rights, the Yankees will probably set some industry records and rewrite the industry rules in milking money out of sponsorship deals for the new stadium. It will be interesting – if a little sickeningly – to see which company brings every aspect of the new stadium experience to the fans and how they go about branding these sponsorships.

Enough with the negativity
ALDS game times announced
  • dan

    Why couldn’t they just offer a sweet deal to Ralph Lauren and name the new stadium the Polo Grounds?

    • Marsha


  • Jamie

    I wrote a huge paper on the history of advertisements in sports freshman year of college and this really is just the next step. The Yankees with this opportunity will futher innovate the way sponsorships are incorporated in the realm of sports. For better or worse, thats how the world works. Its all bout’ the benjamins bra.

    Besides i think some blog or news outlet did a study about naming rights and how it affected the company in the future… From Enron to Bank One… it wasnt a successful thing for the company.

  • mehmattski

    Now, I wasn’t around in the good ole days before the designated hitter and astroturf and androsteindione, when all the ball players had to walk up the hill (both ways) in the snow just to get to the games and make their $4 a day. But even so, I can’t imagine that there wasn’t commercialization rampant in major league baseball pretty much as soon as there was a professional league. Stadia (look, correct plural!) are expensive buildings, especially when they are only being used half the year. There’s giant advertisements on the outfield walls of nearly every baseball stadium in existence. I’m certain that if we had a chance to listen to ballgames in the 1940s that there were cute little sponsorships for things like double plays and calls to the bullpen just like there are today.

    And besides, do all those sponsorships really bother you? Is your experience somehow diminished because the team you love is able to earn a few extra bucks by selling a sponsorship? Especially when those lucrative sponsorships are coveted by major corporations, and those dollars turn into the very expensive baseball team we root for? Keep the field, the uniforms and most of the outfield walls devoid of ads, sure- but for all I care you can post an ad on every inch of the concourse, if it means I get to see the best baseball players play for my favorite team.

    • Ben K.

      Oh, don’t get me wrong: I’m not being critical of this. In fact, I’m glad the Yankees aren’t selling the naming rights. I’m just intrigued by the potential to exploit the sponsorship deals within the bounds of MLB’s rules.

    • Jamie

      Yes ads have been out for a long time, but the real money for the teams didnt start flowing until the Olympics decided to have “an official sponsor.” When the official sponsor tag started to get used, all of the other sports franchises soon followed and the ad prices grew exponentially.

  • rbizzler

    Maybe RAB could sponsor a mustard dispenser or something. I mean, I didn’t click on that link to Amazon for nothing…

  • Travis

    Yankees’ radio broadcasts must have 10 times the in-game ads as TV. I can’t stand to listen to it anymore.

  • Victoria

    I don’t want a hot dog stand, but I certainly do want my name on a knish stand…

  • Zooomabooma

    “Meet me at Home Depot Gate A.”

    “Are you sure you don’t want to meet at the Gate B?
    That one’s closer to the Sony Music Pretzel Stand.”

    “But the car will closer in the the CitiBank Parking Garage. I don’t want to have to go to the Burger King Parking Garage.”

    “Great seats in the General Electric Mezzannine Section 12!”

    why can’t stadiums just be stadiums anymore? because of the money, yeah, yeah, but come on, corporate naming is sickening and it’s often a joke. some arenas and stadiums and summermusic venues in the united states are now on their THIRD (and even 4th?) name in the past several years. It often doesn’t stay just 1 name — its gets changed like musical chairs.

    I can’t help but wonder what the Mets new stadium will be named after Citi Field. And when? Five years? Ridiculous.

    At least new Yankee Stadium won’t be called Dunkin’ Donuts Field.

    (It could’ve been. A real life example is the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence…. and I bet Starbucks is sad they missed out on naming something in Seattle… maybe it could’ve been Starbucks Park? How sad.)

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  • Will

    For all the hand wringing about sponsorships and overcommercialization, the fact remains that today’s baseball (or sports in general) is no more interested in making an extra buck than back in the hallowed days of the past. If you have ever seen a picture of Fenway Park or Ebbets Field back in the 1930s-1950s, you’d know what I am talking about. Nearly every inch was covered by an advertisement. In fact, the ads (I am think Abe Starks’ “hit this sign; win a suit” billboard) were always a part of a ballpark’s mythology. The same is true of radio broadcasts. Who can think of Mel Allen without the words “Ballantine Blast” coming to mind. More recently, I think we all knew what happened every time a Yankee hit a homerun…”hey, Dan Pasqua, this Buds for you”. For some reason, it seems as if baseball fans have a tendency to always think things were more pure back in the day, but believe it or not, the golden age of baseball has always been the present, not the past.

  • Evan V

    I think all of this concern over the over-corporatism (is that actually a word) of baseball and sports in general can be easily summed up by watching the first few minutes of the movie Baseketball.
    C’MON — Preperation H Stadium, the Tampax Blimp… priceless