Naming Rights of Stadiums

In the first 37 years or so of baseball, stadiums were usually named after people, famous, events, locations, ect, but starting in 1912 with Fenway Park, stadiums started being named after corporations/companies. In the beginning the owner of a big cooperation sometimes would own a baseball club along with his company, so he/she might have decided to put their name or the company’s name on the baseball venue. For example, in 1953 when President Ford Frick of Anheuser-Busch decided to put the surname (Busch) on Sportsman’s Park instead of naming it after a beer (Budweiser). That was the first big landmark in the history of naming rights. The Fenway Park naming may have been the first time it was done though, but in that case the company’s name, Fenway Realty, was not a bought out name. Meaning that the owner of Fenway at the time was also the CEO of Fenway Realty, so he did not have to buy the rights. A very similar incident happened it 1926 when William Wrigley, the owner of the Cubs and the chewing gum company, had decided to put his name on the historical vine-walled stadium. The 1953 naming of the Cardinals venue was the year that really took the sporting/baseball world by storm as more and more company’s started following in Ford Frick’s steps as today in the MLB there are currently 20 Stadiums named after a corporation. All these contracts that the company has with the club usually are around $2.9 million/year over approximately 15-20 years. Other corporations that may not want to spend that much on advertising complete smaller deals with the teams, such as signs around the stadium. Advertising in stadiums is so key since there are so many different people who come to these spectacular baseball venues and not only to see the game, but to hang out with friends and to see these marvelous structures that were built to house some of the greatest athletes in the world. That is why baseball is the American past time. It represents everything America is and always will be.


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