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02/05/2014

It's always the Ballpark in Arlington

When a kid is named "Billy Jack" on the birth certificate, he can go by William Jackson, or Bill, or Jack, but not Globe Life. The park in Houston may be Minute Maid, but for those who were there at the start it's always Enron.

ArlingtonSo, Bob, Ray ... sorry - on behalf of millions of your ticket-buying public who support the Texas Rangers, your stadium is still The Ballpark in Arlington. Doesn't mean you can't enjoy the check from Globe Life Insurance, but it does mean the vast majority of people who live in Fort Worth/dallas will always call the home stadium "The Ballpark", which is how Tom Schieffer wanted it when it opened in 1994.

On Wednesday morning, the same time as America celebrated college football's "National Signing Day", the Texas Rangers announced a new naming rights partnership with Globe Life Insurance, and the new name of "Globe Life Park".

Uhhh ... yeah, no.

Why did anyone think it was a good idea to announce this on National Signing Day - unless they wanted to bury it? Unless they wanted to bury it. 

The last time the Rangers did a naming-rights deal was 2004, when then owner Tom Hicks wanted quick cash. He struck a deal with Ameriquest, a lending company. If you don’t recall, Star-Telegram columnist Randy Galloway called it “Bad Credit OK Park”, the name taken straight from the pledge made by the company on its own website.

The deal lasted four glorious years. Ameriquest went bust, as so many lending companies did during the recession. Hicks told me in ’06 he would never do a naming rights deal again.

Davis and Simpson felt differently, and like any sports team owner they love the allure of free money. Naming rights costs just about zero.

According to www.globeontheweb.com, its “Insurance made easy”. Because that doesn’t lend itself to any number of wonderful punch lines.

The website is a pain to open. Maybe it was because all of the Rangers fans are flocking to the site to buy insurance that starts at just $1 … no, I’m sure there’s not a catch to that.

Hope this is better than Ameriquest.

Twitter @MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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