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August 25, 2005

Product Naming - A Town Named DISH?

Would you be willing to rename your hometown, forever and always, in return for ten years of free satellite television? That's the deal being offered by Colorado's EchoStar Communications Corp, according to the McKeesport, PA Daily News.

That's right. Rename your town DISH into perpetuity, and receive, free of charge, ten years of Nick at Night, Soap Network, Oxygen, Country Music Television, et al. How very seductive.

Is this phenomenon a logical extension of the long-standing practice of granting naming rights to the highest bidder? That fine American tradition dates back to at least 1926 when Cubs Park in Chicago was renamed Wrigley Field in honor of Juicy Fruit, Double Mint and their chewy brethren.

Or is it a symptom of a deeper disease? We're a media-inundated society. What once would have garnered front-page news is now so much background clutter. So folks get desperate. For instance, not too long ago, a casino paid $10,000 to a woman in Utah to have her forehead tattooed with its name. First it's logos on sweatshirts, then it's logos on foreheads. Is this a clear sign of entropy at work?

But let's hold on just a minute here. With civic budgets straining to keep police cars filled with gas, it seems unlikely EchoStar will have any takers. The costs would be astronomical, and all the free TV in the world does nothing to help recoup them. Think of all the public and private signage, the maps, the stationery, the return address labels, all needing replacement.

Here's something to consider. What if EchoStar actually expects no takers at all? Could this be a public relations red herring designed to generate free press at no cost whatsoever. Could anyone be so duplicitous with brand naming for buzz?

This suddenly became much more interesting. What do you think?

Posted by William Lozito at August 25, 2005 9:25 AM
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» Product Naming: A Town Named Dish Revisited from Strategic Name Development Product Naming Blog
In an earlier post I discussed DISH Network's offer of free service in exchange for a town changing its name. By now, I am sure many of you are aware that Clark, Texas took the bait. They accepted DISH's offer to re-name Clark, Texas to Dish, Texas in ... [Read More]

Tracked on November 12, 2006 3:05 PM

» Town Names for Sale: Is This a Naming Trend? from Strategic Name Development Product Naming Blog
It looks as though the town of Santa, Idaho has cut a better deal for changing its name to than Clark, Texas did for changing its name to DISH. Jalynn believes the SecretSanta.comians got their money's worth. First of all, Santa, Idaho,... [Read More]

Tracked on November 12, 2006 5:38 PM


"Ain't going to happen," said the mayor of New Bern, NC, about the DISH Networks offer of free service if the town changes it name to DISH.

It does look like a publicity stunt by DISH networks. You know the Hollywood adage "Any publicity is good publicity.
On the other hand, who knows, there probably will be a town that agrees to change its name to DISH.
The company wins both ways.
Wonder if this technique can be applied to naming a new product, servce or company?

It happened.

"This week, Clark, Texas, morphed into DISH in exchange for a decade of free satellite television from the DISH Network for the town's 55 homes."

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