Creeping commercialization? :: School District to Sell Building Naming Rights

Ya’ know, part of me says this is wise and good. Part of me says it is sad and tragic.

The wise and good part is that public officials are trying to gain more funds to improve education.

The sad and tragic part is that they have to do it.

We don’t value education. Buildings? Hey, we will pay to have our name on those.

School District to Sell Building Naming Rights
Creeping commercialization

The new trend has the potential to create public school facilities named for fast-food chains, cola makers, designer jeans, breakfast cereals, credit-card companies and other marketers.

A school district in suburban Detroit has decided to sell naming rights to its buildings — including a new elementary school — as a way to offset the one-two punch of rising education costs and decreasing public funds.

Not a first

It’s not exactly a first: A school district in New Jersey sold the naming rights to its high school gymnasium to a local Shop-Rite, while the Grapevine-Colleyville school district in Texas has offered advertising space on school buses, sporting venues and a middle-school roof.

Sponsorship experts say it’s hard to pin down a number for naming rights to a school because of the many variables — size of district and wealth of community, for example — but officials in Plymouth-Canton said that if they pursued a sponsor they’d seek a 51% investment, meaning a marketer would probably have to pony up $7.5 million of the $15 million cost of building the new elementary school.