We come to expect the ABC sports department to mangle, ignore, or totally re-invent sporting ground titles when there are naming rights sponsorships involved.
But what is behind Channel Nine’s renaming of “Bundaberg Rum Stadium”, the venue of the Second Test between the Australian cricket team and Bangladesh, to “Bundaberg Stadium”? Especially when “Bundaberg Stadium” is actually in Cairns, 1400 kilometres up the Queensland coast from Bundaberg.
All the captions on-screen and the references to the ground by the Channel Nine commentators leave out the word “rum”, turning the sponsorship by Diageo’s infamous Aussie drink into a geographical absurdity. Would it be a different matter if Bundy Rum was a sponsor of the cricket telecast perhaps?
No wonder a recent survey by Sponsorship Insights showed that around 80 per cent of Australian companies surveyed felt that stadium naming rights were not value for money.
In this context, it was amusing to see the ABC, who televised Sunday’s play in the Test, describe the ground as “Cazaly Sports Stadium”, which is nothing more than an approximation to the venue’s previous name of “Cazaly’s Australian Rules Football Park”.
But the Cazaly in question is not Roy of “Up There” fame, but Cazaly’s, the nightclub adjoining Bundaberg Rum Stadium.
Good to see the ABC doing its best to promote the local nightlife.