I know that the short answer is probably because they don’t pay for the stadiums. They make the cities provide them with the place to play. So, the cities take the chance to sell the naming rights. Even if that’s the case, why doesn’t the team just buy the rights?
I’m thinking back to my trip to Pittsburgh. I’ve mentioned before that while I was there I bought a pierogi magnet. I also bought a baseball. It has painting of PNC Park on it. It has the name of PNC Park on it. It has a slogan for PNC Park. What doesn’t it have? Any mention of the Pirates. So, I went to see the Pirates play. They won in exciting fashion. I bought two things while I was there to remember the game. Neither one of them mentions the Pirates on them. What gives?
Talk about a missed opportunity. Another time where a conversation could be about the team, but ends up being about a bank. Imagine if it were Pirates Park instead? Or even something cleverer. Then, every baseball would have the Pirates name on it. Every magazine article about the team would say “Pirates” over and over. It would get the name out there. What about other events that happen to take place at or around the park? Shouldn’t local restaurants advertise that they’re close to Pirates Park, instead of a bank? Or other events that are held in the Park. Shouldn’t those tickets all advertise the team? Shouldn’t these teams that aren’t drawing well be doing whatever they can to get their name and logo out to the masses? Why would they want to share that exposure with a bank, or a pet store? There’s a reason that companies are willing to spend money on naming rights.
Why aren’t the teams?