Thursday, August 25, 2016

Welcome To The "Gare"?

Can we get a deal on a loan for a house in the suburbs? Outside of Cook County?
You'll hear the occasional comment about Chicagoans never accepting name changes. The Sears Tower is still the Sears Tower, even if some foreign corporation bought the physical building and purchased the naming rights. Good for you, Willis. You made enough money to buy an iconic structure. But you don't exist in the hearts and minds of true Chicagoans.

The White Sox have always played at the ballpark named for their founder, Charles Comiskey. When a cell phone company paid for the right to slap their name and logo on the glorified shopping mall at 35th and Shields, the few fans who were not run off by Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf grumbled mightily and kept on calling the place Comiskey.

Sure, some came to accept the new name, in a fashion. The entire corporate entity title was too long, of course, so the ballpark was generally referred to as "The Cell".

Appropriate, for the more typical Sox fan as compared to the well-heeled (and overserved) who patronize Wrigley Field.

(Notice how no one is talking about naming rights for a ballpark named for the gum magnate who used to own the Cubs a long time ago. Some corporations know when they're fighting a losing battle.)

Amid much fanfare yesterday, while the White Sox were losing yet again, the team announced that a new company had come forward with cash in hand, to lay claim to the name of the field that had to change because there isn't a U.S. Cellular mobile phone company any more. Mergers, wouldn't you know. And the contract was up, so why not find someone else.

A name on a ballpark generates loads of publicity because the name of the field gets mentioned all over the place during the baseball season. Tonight at "insert ballpark name here", the White Sox took on etc. etc.. Sports writers throw in a mention to fill out the needed words in their articles, and when someone needs whatever product that naming firm sells, the product name is instantly familiar.

So now, it is expected that whenever a White Sox fan needs a home loan, they'll be thinking "Guaranteed Rate".

With the latest round of tax increases hitting Chicago residents, there might be a greater demand for new home loans on homes located outside the boundaries of the city. Property taxes have just skyrocketed, and now the Chicago Public School system plans to tack on another blast of taxes. And that's on top of the planned hike in water fees.

Yes indeed, Guaranteed Rate picked an excellent time to get their name out there, to boost their recognition factor. More and more people will be thinking about making a move out of Cook County, and every time they listen to a report on the tanking White Sox, they'll get that little subliminal nudge about guaranteed home loan rates.

Of course, the name is too long for easy conversation. It will get shortened, in time, like U.S. Cellular became The Cell. What is still considered Comiskey might some day be nicknamed "The Gare" or "The Last Best Option Before Rahm Bleeds Us All Dry."

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