For everyone planning to head down I-95 this spring or summer to catch a Marlins game and check out your favorite Jumbo Shrimp player who got promoted, you now have a new name to put into Google Maps before you go: loanDepot park. (Yes, with a small “L”). Marlins Park is no more after news broke this afternoon that the Marlins have finally secured a naming rights deal after trying to do so since the park opened in 2012.
Who is loanDepot you might ask? Well, it happens to be none other than the “Official Mortgage Provider” of Major League Baseball and the presenting sponsor of the American and National League Championship Series through 2025. Did you know that? I did not, and I follow baseball pretty closely. (Hey MLB, you need to step up your publicity game!) Apparently, loanDepot is looking to “double down on MLB” with its naming rights deal with the Marlins. Is throwing a billion towards putting a name on a lightly used stadium really doubling down? That remains to be seen, but the company has no doubt taken note of the scorching hot property market here in Florida and wants a piece of that business.
I get why the Marlins did what they did. They likely took the highest offer out there to maximize their revenue, and would have taken the highest offer no matter what the name of the company offering it might have been. That said, “loanDepot park” is a lousy name. It is made worse by the fact that it looks like name starts with an “I” not a small “L”. Given the relative obscurity of the company to the public at large, I can’t help but think most will pronounce it as “Eye-o-anDepot”. I mean, it sure looks like that’s what it is. Maybe folks can just call it “The Depot”? Or, and this is important, you can just keep calling it Marlins Park since fans are under no obligation to acquiesce to any sort of team-led corporate naming rights deal.
Keep up the good work Jeets.