Struggling Izumi-Sano plans to lease its name : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)
IZUMI-SANO, Osaka--The municipal government of Izumi-Sano, Osaka Prefecture, which is on the verge of bankruptcy, has decided to lease the naming rights for the city and a range of public works.
Companies will be able to change the city name under a contract that will last from one to five years. The city will accept applications from domestic and foreign companies from June to the end of November. Applicants will be required to propose the amount they will pay the city for naming rights.
The sale of naming rights began in the United States in the 1990s to raise funds for the operation of sports facilities. In 2003, Tokyo Stadium in Chofu, Tokyo, had its name changed to Ajinomoto Stadium, after the food company Ajinomoto Co., the first such case in the country. Recently, the naming rights to other public works, such as pedestrian overpasses and dams, have been sold to companies.
So once again the US leads the way. Sure, we lead the way in letting corporations turn the world into one great big repulsive billboard, but still...