Naming rights for a panda — paws up or down?

Did you ever think we’d be talking about naming rights for a panda?

In the latest wrinkle on corporate naming opportunities, DreamWorks Animation agreed to spend an undisclosed amount to help defray Zoo Atlanta’s $500,000 annual fees to China to keep the pandas on display here, AJC reporters Mark Davis and Rich McKay write.

In exchange, the zoo’s youngest panda was named after a DreamWorks character, the reporters write.

Does this give you a queasy feeling? What’s next?

Or do you think this is a good idea to raise money? Should other organizations try it?

- Henry Unger, The Biz Beat

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

16 comments Add your comment

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rachel Mello and Jan Hayes, Henry Unger. Henry Unger said: Naming rights for a panda — paws up or down? http://bit.ly/ggp1ez [...]

Shadow7071

February 23rd, 2011
8:32 am

Yes, all of this corporate naming stuff makes me, as you say…”QUEASY”

Shadow7071

February 23rd, 2011
8:40 am

….But, instead of The Georgia Dome…..The diet Coke Dome might sound better. lol!

Enemas for Arbor Day

February 23rd, 2011
11:44 am

Whats messed up is keeping mammals captive for human entertainment.

Henry Halloran

February 23rd, 2011
11:44 am

Im all for Zoo Atlanta off-setting their operating costs by allowing Dreamworks to name the Panda. I’d much rather the Zoo rely on corporate sponsorship then looking towards the tax payers for funds or raising ticket prices to consumers. The Zoo does tremendous work and I am proud to have it in our City. However, at this time, the City’s budget is in a crisis and I’d rather have funds allocated towards education and infrastructure improvements. I am extremely supportive of the Zoo looking at creative revenue streams to fund operations and on-going research.

Hank

February 23rd, 2011
11:45 am

Witness “State Mutual” stadium for the minor league Braves baseball in Rome. Rumor has it they will soon install a life size cast iron statue of former insurance commissioner John Oxendine at the front gates to officially great fans.

Hank

February 23rd, 2011
11:46 am

my bad…greet

Janet

February 23rd, 2011
11:47 am

Zoo Atlanta gave in too readily to Dreamworks demands by naming the panda after their cartoon character. Sure, they were desperate for the money. But so are Dreamworks desperate to get a foothold into the massive Chinese market and get the film and television rights to distribute their films. Zoo Atlanta had some room for negotiation there to give the cub a Chinese name. As it is Dreamworks have got massive brand promotion in the US and gotten into China on the back of the cub. At least in China, they are calling the cub Bao.

fransgal

February 23rd, 2011
11:49 am

Enter your comments here

fransgal

February 23rd, 2011
11:51 am

I am not totally in favor of the commercial aspect of the name. Unfortunately, present economic times call for endorsements. I remember the sorry sight the zoo was in the late 60’s, absolutely love the wonderful place it is now.

66

February 23rd, 2011
12:09 pm

Maybe if Zoo Atlanta had more (any?) state funding we wouldn’t be discussing this.

Sam

February 23rd, 2011
12:09 pm

Commercialization is rather rampant. That said, this miserable, snow-covered winter has been really hard on the Zoo. It’s a fabulous place that is quite a jewel in Atlanta’s crown, and the Pandas are a huge part of that. I don’t like the name PO, but can certainly live with it if it means we’ll have Pandas here for some time to come! Thanks, Dreamworks for the financial assistance to keep this great place solvent.

Joe

February 23rd, 2011
12:42 pm

I think that the idea is incredibly poor taste. It’s one thing to sell the naming rights of a venue or arena, but I draw the line at living creatures. Is the next panda’s name going to be up for auction? Why not E-bay? I understand that the zoo needs money, but I would have preferred that they didn’t stoop to this level.

amanda

February 23rd, 2011
1:19 pm

I agree with Joe. There’s a rather large difference between an arena and a live panda cub. It comes off as a greedy move by Dreamworks to me. I don’t see how they couldn’t have donated in exchange for simply having promotional stuff around the exhibit until the movie is out of theatres. Instead, that panda is going to forever be an advertisement for a movie. Of course, this being Dreamworks, I don’t expect sequels to stop at two movies, but that panda will probably be back in China by Kung Fu Panda 3. I’m just disappointed that they let down everyone hoping for a naming contest. I noticed that when people inquired about one on their Facebook page, they never responded.

Panda Bill

February 23rd, 2011
6:41 pm

I’ll pay the zoo 50 bucks if they’ll name the panda after me? How about it??

TnGelding

February 24th, 2011
5:34 am

Sounds like a win, win situation to me.