White Sox home ballpark renamed with an unlikely naming rights partner. The 13-year deal will give ballpark its second naming rights partner in 25-year history.
The Chicago White Sox will officially play its home games at Guranteed Rate Field next season. The name change becomes official on Tuesday, and the Sox home ballpark will no longer be named U.S. Cellular Field.
The Sox have removed U.S. Cellular signage around the ballpark, and the venue will actually host an event on Nov. 9. The Northern Illinois Huskies will face the Toledo Rockets in the ballpark’s first football game on Nov. 9.
The Sox were mocked by fans online when the naming rights change was announced this summer. With the company’s logo featuring a downward pointing arrow, the Sox actually asked if they could modify the logo to that of home plate. Victor Giradelli, CEO of Guaranteed Rate informed the team the company’s logo was synonymous with the downward arrow. The Sox reportedly were respectful of Giradelli’s decision.
If you’re upset reading that, you should be. It appears the Sox didn’t do enough research into finding a naming rights partner until after they agreed to a 13-year deal with Guaranteed Rate. The decision to go with Guranteed Rate was questionable, and will remain so for some time.
“I know that there are fans that don’t like the fact that there’s a downward red arrow on the ballpark, but I have a hard time understanding the relevance between our mortgage company’s main logo and how that negatively impacts the team or the fans,” Guaranteed Rate CEO Victor Ciardelli.
The Sox will benefit from the deal with Guaranteed Rate field according to Dany Ecker of Crain’s Chicago Business. Although the annual payment from Guaranteed Rate is only $2 million, the company also purchased a presenting sponsorship for the premium seating that is behind home plate.The company’s logo will be in the same places as the former U.S. Cellular logos throughout the ballpark.
Expect a lot of jokes to be made about the Sox new stadium name. Its not hard for opposing fans to joke about the naming rights deal. The product on the field makes it easy. If the Sox can string together some winning seasons, hopefully the Guaranteed Rate Field name will grow on Sox fans.