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The Unfortunate Renaming of U.S. Cellular Field

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Marketing, Mixed Bag of Nuts

I grew up with the White Sox playing in Comiskey Park, then after they tore that down, New Comiskey Park. In 2003 that changed to U.S. Cellular Field. Now, it’s undergoing another name change – Guaranteed Rate Field. Now I don’t think that Guaranteed Rate is any better or worse than U.S. Cellular. Rather it’s the logo that accompanies that change that’s unfortunate.

Guaranteed Rate Field

The Sox will have the misfortune of playing under a logo that includes a red downward pointing arrow. Perhaps that wouldn’t sting so much if the Sox were good. But, they finished in the bottom third of the American League last year. And next year they’ll better their record under a giant red downward pointing arrow.

The Sox tried to offer a compromise. They suggested changing the arrow in the logo into home plate. In my opinion, that’s a pretty ingenious solution. Just for stadium, Guaranteed Rate could subtly change the logo in a way that’s fun and reflects the connection to baseball. The change would be small and the Sox wouldn’t have to play with a reminder that they’re not doing so well lately. Sox fans appreciate and enjoy the shift. But Guaranteed Rate didn’t go for it. And it’s understandable. They paid a lot of money to show their logo and they want the public to see their actual logo, not one used only in one place.

Moral of the story? If you’re a professional sports team, try to get the right to approve logos used on the stadium.