Sporting venues with corporate names are near ubiquitous—stay strong, Fenway Park!—because those naming rights can net a fortune. One of the largest deals, for the New York Giants and Jets' MetLife Stadium, was $400 million over 25 years. Now cash-strapped cities want in. Some recent deals:
Downtown Chicago's Millennium Park is home to the BP Pedestrian Bridge. The naming rights to the Frank Gehry-designed winding silver structure cost British Petroleum $5 million.
When it snows in Indy, Cargill's name comes marching to the rescue. The company provided the city with 125 tons of salt and five Ford F-250 trucks bearing the name Indy Snow Force Powered by Cargill.
For in-kind donations and time valued at $100,000 in 2012 and $50,000 every year following, Country Music Television bought the rights to McGavock High School’s communication center, now known as the CMT Academy of Digital Design and Communication.
Individuals looking to boost their names on the cheap are in luck: Naming rights for bathrooms—and even individual stalls—are up for grabs at institutions including Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania.
Illustration by Byron Eggenschwiler
A version of this article appeared in the October 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.