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What's in a name when money is involved?
Senior moments
Rich DeLong is the executive director of Station Exchange Senior Care. - photo by File photo

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” is one of the most famous quotes, and a frequently referenced part, of William Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet. “

In this scene, Juliet argues that it does not matter that Romeo is from her family’s rival house of Montague, that is, that he is named “Montague.” The reference is often used to imply that the names of things do not affect what they really are. Or do they?

It is hard nowadays not to notice that just about everything has a name attached to it in one way or another. I think The Weather Channel has perfected name calling, if you will. In 2012 TWC decided to start naming winter storms; even after the National Weather Service indicated that they would not acknowledge names given winter storms.

TWC says that there is a science behind their naming of the storms and they go further, arguing the point that, “... a storm with a name is easier to follow, which will mean fewer surprises and more preparation.”

I say, “Hogwash!” The fact is that something as routine as weather has all-of-a-sudden become a 24-hour main venue on your TV; and to keep it fresh and exciting, TWC has decided to name winter storms to give them more appeal, pizazz, excitement, publicity and — oh yeah — money as in commercial sales (take your pick).

A partial listing of winter storms for 2013 included the names Athena, Brutus, Caesar, Gandolf, Khan and Nemo. As of this writing, TWC was still talking about the most-recent winter storm that it named, Jonas.

I’m just waiting for the day when we hear the announcer’s voice declaring the next winter storm, “Midas, brought to you by Midas Total Car Care.” It is coming folks; and you heard it here first.

Good old sensationalizing has been around for years. However, the money that can come along with a corporate name is astounding and yet rather new.

Consider that 30 years ago only two baseball stadiums had corporate names attached; Busch Stadium in St. Louis and Wrigley Field in Chicago. And Busch and Wrigley owned the teams so that kind of made sense. Today, all but nine of the 30 MLB teams’ stadiums have corporate names attached to them. To quote another famous line, “Show me the money!”

Levi’s Stadium, where we just witnessed the playing of Super Bowl 50, is a prime example of what I am talking about. In May 2013, Levi Strauss and Company paid more than $220 million to have its name attached to the stadium for the next 20 years; with an option for five more years after that at a cost of $75 million dollars. That’s a lot of jeans.

But that’s not the richest contract. Citigroup is paying $400 million over 20 years so that Citi Field would be home to the New York Mets. Wow, no wonder our interest rates are so high.

I don’t expect we will ever see the likes of Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park taking on a new corporate name; that would be sacrilege for sure.

Just so there is no confusion regarding this article, I want to emphatically state that I watch The Weather Channel daily. And I believe in the capitalistic system of America. That is why I am officially announcing the renaming of this column. I think something like Sonic Senior Moments or Senior Moments by McDonald’s would be a very cool idea. Let the bidding wars begin.

Call DeLong at 912-531-7867 or email him at

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