Playing the name game

  • Updated: March 24, 2012 - 6:53 PM

Playing the name game

We're not saying they are in or out of the bidding, but jumping into a name game involving a new NFL stadium in the Twin Cities makes sense for these state-based corporations. Here is a pros-and-cons look at five potential suitors:

TARGET CORP.

Why it works: The Minneapolis-based retailer already owns the naming rights to the Target Center and Target Field. Why not go three for three?

Why it doesn't: Three major downtown sports facilities in one city may be a bit too much. And it's not as if Target needs the brand exposure.

U.S. BANCORP

Why it works: CEO Richard Davis has said he wants the company to receive more credit for its community efforts. What better way to do that than a U.S. Bancorp Stadium? Plus Davis has been a strong proponent of keeping the Vikings in Minnesota.

Why it doesn't: U.S. Bancorp has traditionally been a fiscally conservative company, especially under its previous CEO Jerry Grundhofer. Spending millions of dollars to name a stadium may not jibe well with U.S. Bancorp's reputation for penny-pinching.

MALL OF AMERICA

Why it works: The Mall of America is truly both a national and local institution, a reputation that it can cement with a long-term stadium deal. The mall already owns the rights to Mall of America Field at the current Metrodome.

Why it doesn't: Mall officials have previously suggested the new Vikings stadium may be out of their price range.

UNITEDHEALTH GROUP

Why it works: With more than $100 billion in annual revenue, the Minnetonka-based health care company doesn't lack for financial resources.

Why it doesn't: UnitedHealth's experience with sports sponsorships is limited to cycling.

GENERAL MILLS

Why it works: With brands like Yoplait, Pillsbury and the sports-themed Wheaties, the Golden Valley-based food manufacturer boasts products in every kitchen in America. Plus who wouldn't want to see the Vikings play at "the Cheerio Bowl?"

What it doesn't work: Plenty of people would not like to see the Vikings play in "the Cheerio Bowl."

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