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The Price is Right, Maybe

April 14, 2011 - Steve Murch
Cash strapped cities looking for a way to raise some revenue now have inspiration and an idea to try out. Or maybe the idea is dead and buried now that it's happening.

What's the idea? City naming rights.

The Associated Press is reporting that Altoona, Pa., has sold — though renting is a better term — the naming rights to the city of 31,000, which is east of Pittsburgh. The city council approved a deal to change the name for 60 days as part of a film by Morgan Spurlock, the independent filmmaker who made “Super Size Me” a few years ago McDonald's.

“City Council on Wednesday approved a deal to change Altoona’s name to “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” for 60 days. Spurlock will pay the city an unspecified amount that will benefit its police department,” the AP reported. “The film skewers the proliferation of advertising in American life. POM Wonderful is a juice company that paid to be the movie’s title sponsor.”

Maybe a film isn't the way to do it since that angle is now been done, but heck, cities could still find companies willing to pay them cash for all temporary naming rights. It could be kind of dicey because you know the company paying for the rights is going to want all references to the city to be what ever the company's name is.

So I wonder if all references are in play, like the “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold City Council,” and do the residents have to say the live in “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” too?

It might be worth if the price is right and it's only for 60 days.


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