NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Facility naming rights are a great idea, at least until the company in big bright letters is as broke as the fan who just paid $8 for a beer inside its building.
The folks at Eastman Kodak didn't mind having their name on Los Angeles' Kodak Theatre while stars were lining its red carpet for the Oscars and tomorrow's one-hit wonders were belting out stale pop songs from its American Idol stage. When Kodak went bankrupt this year, the $75 million it dropped on the theater's naming rights in 2001 seemed as bad as an investment as a 35mm camera in an all-digital world. Bye-bye Kodak, hello Dolby (DLB) Theatre.
Bankruptcies and scandals are particularly painful to the sports world, where every multimillion-dollar stadium is practically built with a "This Space For Rent" sign on its facade. Citigroup (C) stayed on the New York Mets' Citi Field after the company took $45 billion in bailouts. Air Canada and United Airlines' (UAL) names stayed on arenas in Toronto and Chicago, respectively, as those companies battled bankruptcy and shed jobs.
Those were just the companies that recovered. CNNMoney found that of the 60 publicly traded sponsors with names on sporting facilities, 37 of them (62%) have had their stocks slip in the past 12 months. Their value dropped an average 21%, compared with a 2.4% uptick in the S&P 500 during the same span.Here are just 10 examples of stadium and arena naming deals in which the companies involved didn't foresee a financial losing streak: