The Minnesota Vikings' agreement with Ramsey County for a new $1.057 billion stadium includes a $407 million contribution from the team and private financing. A chunk of that, should the stadium be built, would come from corporate naming rights. Same thing goes for a deal to keep the Vikings in Minneapolis.
So...which Minnesota company might pony up? Let's look at the most likely pool of candidates, Minnesota's Fortune 500, with a few thoughts interspersed.
1. UnitedHealth Group
Lots of injuries in football. Marketing opportunities abound.
Might as way go all the way. Target Field, Target Center, Target Stadium. The Target Triumvirate.
3. Best Buy
Name: Best Buy Bowl?
Eden Prairie-based Supervalu is consolidating its store-brand products under one nationwide brand. The brand name will be "Essential Everyday." So, it could call the stadium "Essential Everyday Field." Nah.
Probably doesn't need the name recognition. But "Post-It Palace" would be nice, wouldn't it?
A "diversified energy, grains and foods company," it could use some name recognition that a stadium might bring. I've never heard of CHS, have you?
7. U.S. Bancorp
We could have another Twin Cities stadium we could call "The Bank." Cool.
See United Health Group.
9. General Mills
Name: The GM Cereal Bowl.
10. Land O'Lakes
Land O'Lakes is based in Arden Hills, where a Ramsey County stadium would be built. So why not? Stadium nickname: The Milk. "I'm headed to the Milk to see the Vikings!"
11. Xcel Energy
Xcel Center. Xcel Stadium. Keep up with Target?
12. Ameriprise Financial
Financial planning. Might be problematic to take financial advice from a company that just blew millions to name a stupid stadium.
13. C.H. Robinson Worldwide
A "third party logistics provider," whatever that means. Nothing clever to say here. It's getting late in this post. Fill in your own.
14. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
Maybe my favorite. I'd love to hear TV announcers trip over it. Would this be the only stadium with a religious denomination in the name? Methinks so.
15. Hormel Foods
Nickname: The Chili. Spam jokes too obvious.
The world's largest supplier of phosphate and potash. So many possibilities.
18. St. Jude Medical
See United Health Group and Medtronic.
Look, folks. I'm getting tired. What would YOU say about "Nash Finch Field?"
20. Alliant Techsystems
We will defend our house! De-fense! De-fense!
It would tangle lots of announcers' tongues across the country. :)
The naming rights will be a worthwhile story to follow, particularly with Target's rights to Target Center expiring very soon. However, I think it may be a bit of an overstatement to call the naming rights a "big chunk" of the $400M+ investment. For reference, Jerry Jones is asking for $20M per year in Dallas for a better facility in a larger market. The Vikings will likely be tapped out at $15M per year. All that said, what about Mall of America Field???
Based on $600 million that will be coming from taxpayers it should be "I spend the first 1.5 hours of my day working to pay the state and all I got was this stupid stadium"
...yes I realize I get other stuff but it is so poorly delivered, watered down, or ineffective that the stadiums that we buy are the crown jewels of our State's spending.
Flo-Max Field: "A place where ya gotta go."
Alliant Tech is the obvious choice. It used to be their facility.
Doesn't Alliant Tech make cluster bombs and landmines? Used to be the Honeywell brand.
You forgot Mayo Clinic. They have a major presence at the Mall of America,