The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Monday, April 28, 2003

TO THE VICTOR GOES THE NAMING RIGHTS
ultimate branding opportunity
The following list appears in the new (May 2003) issue of GQ. I found it funny; no matter what your opinion on the war, I think you might too:

21 NEW NAMES FOR IRAQ

1) People's Republic of Texaco

2) Bushstanistan

3) Islamabunkport

4) Bedrock

5) We-raq!

6) NotOsamabad

7) Crawford Ranch East

8) Afghanistan on the Euphrates

9) The Persian Golf

10) Burkini Beach

11) Rumsylvania

12) Country with a New Regime We're Now Supporting but Will Have To Take Out in Two Decades

13) Gasmaskistan

14) The Hussein Asylum

15) Allahwood

16) The Ponderosa

17) Ididitformydadistan

18) Infertile Crescent Nuclear-Waste Storage Facility

19) The United Emirates of Whup-Ass

20) Who'syourbaghdaddynow?

21) France


My favorite is No. 17 (tell me yours!), although Nos. 19 and 21 are also strong contenders. Here's one that would really piss off just about everyone in the region: "Kurdistan & Co.". Actually, considering the dollar signs that provided the path to this splendid little war, I'm surprised the concept of selling off a new name isn't making the rounds.

Then again, why not start up a bidding war for the liberated country's naming rights? It works great for sports stadiums, college football bowl games--think of the possibilities! You can't get any better branding opportunity than this! With the pricetag for this little adventure and cleanup looking to run up to $100 billion, a naming rights deal would defray some of the costs. Considering a major-league level stadium naming deal typically costs between $3 million and $6 million per year, you gotta think a whole sovereign state would fetch, what, at least $100 million annually? Hey, every little bit helps. Between that and the oil contracts...

Keep in mind, too, that our Chief Executive has plenty of experience in this area. In his former life, he was the owner of the big-league Texas Rangers baseball club. So he should be familiar with the naming-rights game.

So listen up, potential corporate sponsors, and try these on for size: Halliburtonstan, ExxonMobilland, Wal-Martica... Heck, why not even Disneystan? Or a country-sized Disney-land! (Come on Eisner, this just screams synergy!!)