THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS BAD (FREE?) PUBLICITY: In scanning newspapers for the energy-industry news service that I as of last week work for, I came across a a particularly cockamamie story from the LA Times, a paper that on the PC scale makes the New York Times look like a bastion of reactionary conservatism. Anyway, as we all know, the Anaheim Angels just won the World Series, and as those of us who watched Games 1, 2, 6, and 7 know, the Angels play their home games in a stadium called Edison International Field, which was called Anaheim Stadium until they sold their naming rights to the energy giant Edison in 1997.
Apparently, a Nader-like consumer advocate named Doug Heller is upset that, in the aftermath of last year’s energy crisis, one of the involved utilities (Edison) has the gall to have their name on the stadium of the World Champions- especially during a World Series that was watched by tens of millions of people worldwide. And the LA Times of course goes along with this nonsense, going so far as to refer, in headline, to televised references to Edison International as “free publicity-” seemingly forgetting that they’re NOT free because, as the article says, the corporation paid “between $30 and $50 million” for the rights. Regardless of Edison’s role in the energy crisis, they paid for the naming rights fair and square, and I don’t think any of the fans in Southern California who are celebrating the first-ever Angels championship give a shit about the name of the stadium, with the exception of Doug Heller. Why can’t he just stick to bitching about the officiating the way Nader does?
Hell, the article even quotes a sports marketing expert who estimates a value, on top of that deal, of $1 million in the event of a World Series run- so that’s $1 million against the original $30-50 million- where’s the story here again? And that’s not even to mention that when 95% of Americans hear the name “Edison,” they don’t think first of the electrical utility that’s active in New York, California, and elsewhere. They think first of Thomas Alva- THE GUY WHO INVENTED THE LIGHTBULB.

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