Just in case you thought corporate douchebaggery couldn't get any worse than the carousel of inane names for the ex-Joe Robbie Stadium -- Landshark Stadium anyone? -- the Florida Panthers are here to remind us that the limits of corporate whoredom are ever-expanding. The team has just sold its rink -- that's just the ice, folks -- to Lexus. That means next season you'll be watching hockey at "The Lexus Rink at the BankAtlantic Center."
Oh, by the way: Team President Michael Yormark would just looove to sell out the team's jerseys to some nice business friends, too.
Yormack touted the rink-selling maneuver as a bold new chapter in sponsorship.
"People are always looking for the same old thing, and that's not in our DNA," the Panther's prez tells Yahoo.
Yormark then rambles on about how much he would love to sell ads on Panther's jerseys if only those thinking-inside-the-box dinosaurs at the NHL would let him.
Take it away, Yormark:
"Obviously, the jerseys are the next great frontier, but obviously there needs to be a lot of thought that goes into it, in terms of how you want to market the jersey as it relates to sponsorship. I don't think that we want to get close to what NASCAR has done. That's not to say what they do is wrong, because it works within their sport and culture. I don't think that works in the National Hockey League ... but I do think there's an opportunity for some branding on the jerseys. If you go to Europe, it's pretty common."
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We'll let Paul Lukas, proprietor of the great Uni Watch blog, have the rebuttal:
Let's make it nice and crystal-clear: Ads on pro sports uniforms are not okay, are not acceptable, and are not inevitable. And if you disagree, I hope you get a better spokesman for your side of the argument than a clown like Michael Yormark.
Well said. Now if we're really lucky, Yormark will get into a Twitter war with us.