The Morning Call from Allentown, Pennsylvania on June 18, 2003 · 28
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The Morning Call from Allentown, Pennsylvania · 28

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Allentown, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Page:
28
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FIRST INDEX Pro Baseball Local Baseball Scoreboard Fishing Report Tennis, Soccer Shore Gate, sand go hand in hand New Jersey proves it owns the Ams Comment $ Ci C5 C6 C6 C8 BURGER TEEING OFF C7 PAGE C4 Banking on a ballpark's new name Sure it was inevitable, but that doesn't mean it isn't crass. That pastoral-looking ballpark they're putting up in South Philly is going to have ; a quintessentially corporate name: Citizens Bank Park. For $96 million; they would have named it after you. But since you didn't come up with the money, some previously faceless financial institution from Rhode Island, owned by some bigwigs in Scotland, was able to nab the naming rights for a mere 95 mil. And so, the stadium complex that houses Philadelphia's four major sports teams now sounds like a collision of ATM machines. Across the way, the Eagles will be playing at Lincoln Financial Field. And over yonder is the First Union (soon to be Wachovia) Center, home to the Sixers and Flyers. There was a time when arenas provided a forum for advertising. Now, they themselves are giant steel-and-con- Aseach colorful name disappears forever, our surrender is hastened to a world in which the bottom line is the only line that matters. crete billboards. So what do the companies that spend millions on naming rights ultimately get for their money? You, they hope. In addition to ratcheting up their all-important name recognition, they exploit the feel-good nature of sports, which tends to evoke deep visceral responses in both adults and especially in children. The stadium namers worm their way into our subconscious minds. If you associate them with lush green grass, excitement, family, togetherness and the other sights, sounds, smells and memories you've linked with your favorite teams, they improve their odds of enticing you as a customer. Is that wrong, unethical, immoral? Not according to predominantly accepted standards of decency. It's just tacky. And a little sad. Because you'd like to be able to think just once in a while that not every thing that everybody is doing at every moment is designed just to make money. And because when you're a kid following sports, the whole package and every part of the package is important and meaningful. Not just what your team did today, but your team's history, its personality, its character, and yes, even the name of its arena. We're at an in-between stage now. We still have names with character. Like Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium and Lambeau Field. Even some of the high-tech names of the post-baby boomer era say something about who we were and what we were thinking at the time: the Skydome and the Superdome, for instance. But gone forever are Candlestick Park, the Boston Garden, the Astrodome and countless others. Eventually, it appears, they will all be gone. Replaced by transient corporate logos that may themselves be absorbed and changed with no advance notice, but simply as a result of corporate mergers, hostile takeovers and boardroom politics. And as each colorful name disappears forever, our surrender 4s hastened to a world in which the bottom line is the only line that matters. Incidentally, where there is BURGER PAGE C2 WEDNESDAY, JUNE foils' 4 4 " 1 PHILLIES PRESIDENT DAVID MONTGOMERY (right) and Philadelphia Mayor stadium name Citizens Bank Park as Citizens Bank CEO Stephen Steinour The Phillies squander a lot of scoring opportunities before Nick Punto's run breaks a 4-4 tie. By Don Bostrom v Of The Morning Call PHILADELPHIA The corporate types taking part in the new park naming ceremonies said multiple times Tuesday the Phillies are "Not Your Typical Club." The message must have sunk in because the Phillies certainly took the unorthodox route to a much-needed 5-4 win over the first place Atlanta Braves. They squandered all sorts of glorious scoring opportunities and surrendered all of a 3-0 lead before rallying in the bottom of the ninth inning. The fun began against loser Darren Holmes when left fielder Chipper Jones couldn't hold on to a sinking Mike Lieberthal liner. Nick Punto came in to run for Lieberthal. Jimmy Rollins, batting sixth for the first time in his Phillies career, capped an Ali-Star perfor- PHILLIES PAGE C4 Hello, NASCAR? If s Nextel ... Cell phone giant to be new sponsor of stock car racing's top series. By Jenna Fryer Of The Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C NASCAR is trading cigarettes for cell phones. Wireless communications giant Nextel has reached a deal to replace R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. as the title sponsor of NASCAR's premier series, the Winston Cup. Two NASCAR sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Nextel will be introduced Thursday at a news conference in New York's Times Square. NASCAR scheduled what it called a "major news announcement" there 18, 2003 mew com INSIDE Larry Bowa is looking for a way to shake up the Phillies. PAGE C4 Thursday, with chairman Bill France Jr. and top drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon to attend. It did not disclose the subject. Two Winston Cup team sources, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said NASCAR officials called them Monday to tell them a deal with Nextel was complete. When Nextel connects with NASCAR starting next season, it will be reaching out to the estimated 75 million fans in more than 100 countries that follow the sport. It will also be a sponsor capable of advertising and reaching the youthful demographic NASCAR has long pursued. RJR has been limited in marketing its NASCAR sponsorship by the 1998 master NASCAR PAGE C2 stad It I I - , " fT - i Jt'ri ft J crtfihJj Hi IK W W ( . m m -wii M.m mm , m.M ' - THE MORNING CALL Va La J. I ZENS IT XI ( ?U J - A U JL& JJs 1 f'FU fx I : dlLf. m iitifclr il John Street (left) hold up a new looks on. . vt !'1r s George Widman Associated Press THE PHILLIES' DAVID BELL is congratulated after he singled in pinch runner Nick Punto in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Braves. 3 s 3 : v Susan Angstadt Special to The Morning Call PARKLAND'S NICK PINCH EK will probably be playing his last game on offense Saturday night. s w Qtizens a. -J - - "t! Mike Mergen Associated Press Phillies jersey with the Phillies new 1 1 frill in i- i m e mm -m m m Future looks bright," but these are the Phils t Comment jj MIKE y SIELSKI 'Z J PHILADELPHIA On and on went Larry Bowa, going gaga over Cole Hamels, forgetting that he manages a franchise for which, no matter how sound a plan for success might seem, the negative routinely offsets the positive. Two years, Bowa said Tuesday, might be all the time it takes before Hamels the Phils' No. 1 draft pick last year, a 19-year-old left-hander with a fastball in the low 90s and "a big-league changeup" finds his way to the newly Pmchek living his dream The tough-as-nails Parkland star will be heading to Penn State as a walk-on, but he has one game left at home. By Andre D. Williams Of The Morning Call He was in the middle of a game with Emmaus High when his helmet clamped down awkwardly, . resulting in a nasty face. "It was painful," admitted Parkland High senior Nick Pinchek. But Pinchek finished the game and continued to play through the discomfort of the gash until it healed three weeks later. It was typi cal of Pinchek, a blue-collar, hard-nosed type of player whose solid blocking skills helped spring record-breaking tailback Austin Scott to a 3,846-yard, 53-touchdown season. SECTION C Citizens Bank buys the naming rights for $57.5 million. By Don Bostrom Of The Morning Call PHILADELPHIA Phillies president David Montgomery was dining in Miami after the . Opening Day win over the Marlins when he received a phone call from Steve Steinour, the Chairman and CEO of Citizens Bank. Montgomery had nothing to write on, so he took a dollar bill from his wallet and began taking copious notes on the framework of the arrangement that would lead to Citizens Bank gaining exclusive naming rights to the Phillies new ballpark for the next 25 years in -exchange for $57.5 million dollars. "I still have that dollar," Montgomery said Tuesday during the official announcement. "I plan on holding on to it. It's what activated the partnership." Montgomery pledged to spend the rest of the financial windfall to insure the Phillies can allocate "each and every year the maximum dollars that we can to have talent on the BALLPARK PAGE C2 named Citizens Bank Park. "He's going to be on a pretty fast pace," Bowa said. Only two years before he might join a pitching rotation of precious possibility: Randy Wolf, Kevin Millwood, Brett Myers ... Ahhh, but these are the Phillies, whose looks forward are usually accompanied by steps backward. This current season is a case in point. For all of Bowa's rhapsody over Hamels, this pitching staff is already the Phillies' best since 1993. And where have the addition of Millwood and pitching coach Joe Kerrigan, the maturation of Myers and Wolf, and the renaissance for Rheal Cormier gotten the Phillies? A SIELSKI PAGE C4 gash on his INSIDE There will be 5 other running backs to watch Saturday night. PAGE C5 PINCHEK PAGE C5

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