Monday, September 22, 2008

Big deal over naming rights

Did you know that the struggling-to-stay-alive Citigroup paid $400 million for the naming right to the New York Mets’ stadium in 2006? That's a staggering figure, ain't it? I learned that and more while glugging this news item with my early morning cuppa. Knowing the avaricious tendencies of BCCI, I am sure this naming rights gig will hit India soon. Look at the pots of money that can be minted. Eden Gardens can become Anil Ambani Gardens or Nano Stadium or Dalmiapuram or even Dawood Ibrahim Stadium depending on the bids. The puritans will be up in arms. But has BCCI ever cared about sanctity? If they knew there's a scope for making thousands of crores of rupees, Mr. Lalit Modi will take the first plane to Sotheby's or Christies to auction the stadia names. I believe this naming rights thingy was tried out once before in 2002 in South Africa. Dunno how well the experiment fared. With the IPL hoopla, city jingoism and all that, you never know, this may be the Next Big Thing for Sharad Pawar Incorporated.