10 Disasters in Stadium Naming Rights
McClendon's stint as company chairman ended before the Thunder's playoff run. If they beat the Lakers and advance, will Chesapeake's name still be on the building in the next round?
Home of: The Houston Astros (MLB)
Cost of naming rights: $3.3 million a year
If you think a team won't just rip a broke company's name off its building, you obviously haven't had a glass of OJ in Minute Maid park.
When Ken Lay and his room full of smart guys drove energy giant Enron into the ground with an accounting scandal that bankrupted the company in 2001, the Astros were in no mood to keep the company's name on the building. Astros fans lost jobs and retirement savings as a result of Enron's fraudulent dealings, and the Astros were in no mood to see how the legal case against the company played out.
The Enron scandal hit in late 2001 and by February 2002, the Astros had bought back the naming rights for $2.1 million. The team ripped out all the Enron logos in time for opening day and Coca-Cola(KO) bought the naming rights that June. The rechristened Minute Maid Park hasn't referenced the "E" word since.
Home of: The New England Patriots (NFL)
Cost of naming rights: $7.6 million a year
Never heard of CMGI Stadium, you say? No worries. Neither has anyone else.
The tech and venture capital company was set to paste its logo all over the Patriots' new home field for 15 years when it agreed to a $114 million naming rights deal in 2000. That agreement didn't even make it to the stadium's first kickoff. The tech bubble burst and CMGI was reduced to a penny stock before fading into obscurity as ModusLink Global Solutions(MLNK) .
Gillette, meanwhile, picked up the tab and had great seats for the Patriots' perfect regular season in 2008, its five Super Bowl runs in the past 11 years and its three championships.