Naming rights and other pet hates

Everyone who isnt a living saint has a pet hate.

I have many but unlike most people I take my pet hates home, feed them up and teach them tricks until they become fully-fledged grudges. Todays grudge is naming rights. Which dastardly advertising executive first convinced a major sport organisation to share its name with a business house I dont know, but when I die and go to Natwest, Tristar, Telco, Virgin heaven, Im sure hell greet with a team halo and company robes.

Nothing is more annoying to a sports writer than to have to spend a vast percentage of your word limit just trying to name the competition and the teams involved. Apart from it taking up valuable space where you could actually be writing about the game, it also makes once-meaningful and decent sentences into clumsy corporate adverts.

For example, instead of On Saturday in the Australian Rules at Rec 18, Roy Michelson kicked seven goals in a match-winning performance for Stars, we are encouraged to write On Saturday in the Horaces Hot Axe Shop Australian Rules competition at Ron Reen Oval, Roy Michelson kicked seven Tri-Summer super goals in a match-winning performance for the Invidious Indian Bargain Boutique Stars.

You think Im joking? Im not. Truly, I spend a significant amount of time editing out superfluous corporate labels from competitions and team names and then refill the sentences with something about the game. Its boring but our future is a corporate one. For as the insurance companies lift our premiums, so we need to get corporate sponsorship to be able to afford to play.

Its just like a pet hate chasing its tail and its left me in a quandary.

If I take out all the corporate names it doesnt help the cash-strapped teams survive in this increasingly corporate world. So Ive been thinking, if you cant beat `em maybe we should join `em.

On a local level, we could embrace the corporate model. As you may be aware, the Workers Club has been buying out other bankrupt clubs and thereby creating some very wordy club names like The Lismore Workers Heights Bowling Club. In all honesty, considering the economic stability of this mighty juggernaut, it wont be long until all the local clubs are owned by the Workers Club. In fact why stop there? Apparently The Workers are already planning to build their own housing estate.

What we could do is just accept the inevitable TriStar/Telco option and sell Lismore City Council to the club. Then we could rename Lismore, The Workers and go back to just having the Heights Bowling Club and a Golf Club. Weve already got at least one former Workers Club director on Council, so the transition would not be too difficult. That way, your rates could double as club membership. Itd be like a kind of corporate communism. One big over-arching state/company which owns everything and looks after us from cradle to grave? Think about it cheap sports fees, plenty of pokies and some of your funeral expenses paid for as well.

And most importantly, the names of our competitions wont take up an entire sentence either.

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