Thursday, February 2, 2012

Early termination of naming rights - the Kodak Theatre

These days it seems like a popular building can't keep the same name. Because businesses want to make money wherever possible, they'll often sell the naming rights to some company that will pay millions of dollars for the privilege. Then, a few years later when that deal expires, they'll sell the naming rights to some other company.

This can lead to some confusion. Maybe you'll hear an advertisement telling you that your favorite band is going to be playing in the Kia Center. You have no idea where the Kia Center is, until you discover that's the new name for the place that used to be called the Lowes Center, and before that was called the Yahoo Center, and before that was called the First Interstate Center, and before that was called the Marlboro Center.

But sometimes names get changed a little more quickly than expected. Needless to say, any facility named for Enron had to undergo a name change when Enron went under.

And this week a new proposed early name change emerged.

Back in 2002, no one at Kodak saw a problem in buying the naming rights for a theater at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles. A twenty year deal costing $75 million - what could go wrong?

The entire photographic industry could undergo a change, that's what. Now Eastman Kodak has declared bankruptcy, and the looming $4 million annual payment doesn't look all that great, so they're trying to give up the naming rights and let someone else buy them.

Coincidentally, the Oscars may not stay at the Kodak Theatre no matter what the name becomes. In fact, there's some scuttlebutt that the Oscars would relocate downtown, to the Nokia Theatre.

Wonder how Nokia will be doing in ten years? I've previously noted that Nokia participates in a pretty cyclical industry. Then again, all industries are cyclical these days. Just ask General Motors.
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