Naming rights game demands INM patience

Some rivals seem less than keen to refer to ‘Irish Independent Park’ in sports coverage

Irish Independent Park: Irish Independent Park: former Musgrave Park has been renamed under a sponsorship deal.

Irish Independent Park: Irish Independent Park: former Musgrave Park has been renamed under a sponsorship deal.

 

There is often a period of painful adjustment before the public is prepared to accept the new names of venues that are valiantly rechristened in the wake of sponsorship deals.

It’s fair to say that buy-in from the media can help, well, communicate the message. But for Independent News & Media, proud sponsors of the Cork home of Munster rugby, buy-in for its naming rights agreement with the redeveloped stadium has depended on the support of its direct rivals, and some appear to have been less enthusiastic than others.

After INM’s annual general meeting in Dublin last week, the group’s Corkonian chairman, Leslie Buckley, was asked by Newstalk business editor Vincent Wall if the acquisition-hunting media group would theoretically be interested in buying the Irish Examiner, given it seemed to be “aggressively chasing” the Cork market.

Press usage

Irish Examiner

Buckley, who posed with a spade and sod of Musgrave (sorry, Irish Independent) Park turf when the naming rights were announced back in March 2014, noted it had taken some time before people were willing to call the Aviva Stadium “the Aviva”. Indeed. Sadly for INM, our Cork-hailing sources swear it will always be Musgrave Park to them.