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July 21, 2008

What Qualifies as a Naming Emergency?

It's hard to explain to people in other countries what's wrong with the US economy.

fanniemae.pngMore precisely, it's hard to admit that two of the major mortgage lending institutions are called Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As one Canadian blogger put it, "Who in their right mind would name a bank something so ridiculous - or anything for that matter... even a hamster would cease running on its little wheel if named Fannie Mae."

FreddieMac_color_logo_tag.pngThis is really nicknaming that got out of hand, but points to the major problems financial institutions have had in naming and branding.

The names are actually nicknames that grew out of the acronyms. Freddie Mac comes from Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (FHMC); Fannie Mae comes from Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA).

Even worse, the CEO of Fannie Mae is named Naiel H. Mudd. As in, "Your name is Mudd."

While the brains behind Freddie Mac is named Richard F. Syron, which rhymes with "siren." As in "emergency."
Speaking of which, there may be a naming emergency going on in New York as Citi commits $400 million to secure the naming rights for the new Mets Stadium.

Recently, I wrote about Citi's decision to revitalize their 1977 tagline: "Citi never sleeps." Although, it appears that Citi may be set for a nightmare with their decision to get into stadium naming. Blogging Stocks says that there is actually a curse hanging over companies that name stadiums after themselves:

  • The Pats' stadium was named after Gillette, which is now owned by P&G, though the brand name is still in use
  • Fleet Center is named after a bank bought out by Bank of America
  • Tweeter Center is named after a company that has since filed for bankruptcy

Given Citi's recent problems, it seems to many people - especially to those employees who have been fired - that this might be a sad waste of money.

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Posted by William Lozito at July 21, 2008 10:41 AM
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