#87 Renaming the Rose Garden

Taking it to the Blazers WPPortland is home to the greatest sports franchise since 1977, the Trailblazers Professional Basketball team. The Blazers have never sucked and are led by the most amazing owners in the history of balls. Even when they tanked seasons away, it was always part of the master plan to acquire NBA greats like Bill Walton, Clyde Drexler, Michael Jordan, Z-Bo, LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard and Myers Leonard. This level of strategy and advanced metrics can only be attributed to the brilliance of law firm Glickman:Weinberg:Allen.

This isn’t about the team, but the money-grabbing, gut-wrenching renaming of the Rose Garden to the <expletive deleted>. This all began when the logic-based reasoning of extraterrestrial humanoids called Vulcans, descended onto Earth. Overcome by a furious sexual desire known as “pon farr“, they focused on screwing as many Blazers they could. To achieve this, the Vulcans set their sights on selling the naming rights of the “Rose Garden” in 2007, and finally found their mate in Moda Health (formally ODS).

Spock Peeing on RG WPThe Rose Garden name had so much Portland pride beaming out of it, sometimes, it was mistaken for the sun. When the Vulcans tore it down, it was like watching all the Vitamin D drain from the city.  Why didn’t the Vulcans choose a partner that had some connection to Portland?  Nike Air Forum, Adidas Dome, Intel Center, Pendleton Pavilion, VooDoo Donuts’ Hole Arena… all better, all local.

Moda Health wanted to build their new brand very quickly after they became a partner for the Affordable Care Act (Cover Oregon). In their defense, buying the naming rights to the Rose Garden, à la Pepsi, Staples and Target, would accomplish just that. However, the public backlash with renaming it would further hurt the perception of Moda Health. All Blazers’ fans hate the new name:

“It will always be listed as ‘Rose Garden’ in our database.” – Radio Cab operator

“It broke my heart to read about all the people needing couple dollar prescriptions while Moda Health is spending millions on sports arena marketing.” – Season Ticket Holder

“A terrible name that doesn’t roll off the tongue, like saying “Rose Garden.” – Tom’s Pizza and Sports Bar regular

Ultimately, Moda Health isn’t the bad guy here. The Vulcans are going to apply the $40 million to the <expletive deleted>. They claim it will improve the “fan experience”.  In the end, fans will put up with it, as we do every year with just three months of sun.

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