What’s in a name? $800 million!

Here’s a question for Saskatchewan football fans as they get ready to gather at the new Mosaic stadium for the Labour Day Classic against the Blue Bombers. When you go there, decked out in green, to cheer on your beloved Riders, are you ever thinking “Later this week I really should call my brokers and tell them to buy me some shares of that wonderful Mosaic Company”. I didn’t see any hands go up on that one.

Next week, when they play the rematch, known affectionately as The Banjo Bowl, at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, might there be line-ups at that company’s offices with folks who just can’t wait to buy mutual funds? The obvious answer is NO.

It raises the very serious question why does any major business put out gobs of money to get their name on a stadium or arena? I ask the question because of what my bank has just done. The Bank of Nova Scotia, known for many years now as Scotiabank, has committed to spending $800 million over the next 20 years to have their name on the arena where the Leafs and the Raptors play their games in downtown Toronto.

I’m told that it’s the most lucrative deal that has ever been done for naming rights on a public gathering place in North America. It’s ten times as much as what Air Canada paid to have their brand on the same building, and way more than what Scotiabank paid for naming rights on the Saddledome in Calgary where the Flames play.

The PR department at the bank swears on a stack of hundred dollar bills that they have research that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Canadians who know this and think about it, are “three and half times more likely to change banks” – not three times, or four times, but “three and half times”. You may have sensed by now that I’m a definite ‘doubter’ when it comes to such claims.

Blessed are the big banks who have all that money to throw around.

Enjoy the games everyone, whatever the buildings are called.

I’m Roger Currie

Roger Currie


Veteran radio journalist, now working primarily as a writer, commentator and freelance voice. My regular commentary "Currie's Corner" is heard on CJNU ( Nostalgia Radio ) at 93.7 FM. Text and audio can be found at http://www.cjnu.ca/c-corner.shtml. I also do a daily newscast on CJNU, at about 7.15 & 8.15, every weekday morning. It's also posted on the CNC homepage.

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