Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Willie Mays Field at AT&T Park

Around the time that Pacific Bell Park (home of the San Francisco Giants) was getting rebranded to the parent company's name (SBC), my friend Daniel approached me for support on his grassroots idea to have the sponsors change the name to "Mays Field." Actually, his initial effort was to have everyone call it that regardless of what the owners name it. We're both longtime Giants fans, and naming a the park after Willie Mays certainly has a fan-pleasing air about it. However, it surprised him that I wasn't in favor of the idea.

It seemed to me that if SBC/Pac Bell was willing to kick in $50 million over 24 years to help support a privately funded ballpark in downtown San Francisco, then I'm all in favor of it. Why should I begrudge them their marketing value for the money? Willie Mays isn't ponying up any dough. I'll defend their right to have it called what they want just like I'd defend a kid at school to be called by his rightful name even if everyone else wants to call him "Dicknose." Principles aren't a question of scale, people, they're principles.

Well with the SBC acquisition of AT&T, the sponsors now want to re-brand it again, this time to AT&T Park. Daniel has similarly modified his plea, and is now asking for it to be officially renamed "Willie Mays Field at AT&T Park." So now I signed his petition and teased him that he finally realized my greater wisdom. He, in turn, said that he was so moved he had to lie down. He said he hasn't been so moved since Dravecky broke his arm. I'm sure his change of heart had everything to do with principles and nothing to do with having a snowball's chance in Hell of getting taken seriously by AT&T.

You can check out the Mays Field site here.


PeteG said...

So we were wrong for calling 3com/Monster Park, Candlestick Park?

achiappanza said...

If I'm gonna be consistent, yeah! The difference there, of course, was that it had a history with that old name. The kid in school in my example may have to accept being called a name that he used to go by when he was younger.

PeteG said...

I kinda agree with you on the Mays deal, but there's no way I'm calling Candlestick anything but Candlestick!

achiappanza said...

I wonder if there would be less attachment to Pac Bell as a name if the park orignally had a non-corporate name. Actually, I expect so... I'm surprised by the popularity of PBP.

PeteG said...

Well, Pac Bell Park should be in the minds of everyone in the Bay Area, since they have/had a monthly relationship with the company! :)