April 27th, 2011
Detroit takes a lesson from sporting arenas, looks to sell naming rights
Officials in Detroit are looking to cash-in on an already proven way of making money — corporate naming rights.
According to reports, the Detroit Transportation Corp. is seeking to sell the naming rights to Detroit People Mover stations.
“It’s a very common form of advertising,” said Richard T. Cole, professor and immediate past chairman of the Department of Advertising, Public Relations and Retailing at Michigan State University. “Of course the biggest deal in Metropolitan Detroit … was the naming of Comerica Park.”
In 2002, then Michigan-based Comerica Inc. reportedly paid $2.2 million for the naming rights to the baseball stadium, which is home to the Detroit Tigers.
“This won’t be anywhere as dramatic as that, but it’s an interesting idea,” Cole said.
The Detroit News reports MetroPCS has already signed a one-year, $10,000-a-month ($120,000 annual) contract to rename the People Mover’s Greektown Station to “MetroPCS Greektown Station.”
Ericka Alexander, marketing spokeswoman for the Detroit Transportation Corp., which operates the People Mover, tells The News the sale of the Greektown stop is just the beginning.