Thanks to the Yu Darvish posting process, American baseball fans have been given a wonderful opportunity to become acquainted with the oddly named Nippon Ham Fighters, Darvish’s Japanese team. This has prompted all sorts of questions from the general public.
Why does the ham need to be fought?
How exactly does one fight against ham?
Is the ham honeyglazed?
What happens if the ham wins?
OK, yeah we know, they aren’t the Ham Fighters of the city of Nippon. They are the Fighters sponsored by the company of Nippon Ham. The point is it sounds funny and has opened our minds to the world of possibilities that come with MLB teams gaining their own ill-fitting corporate sponsor name. Clearly we have no choice but to pick the “best” corporate moniker for each MLB franchise.
New York Yankees Yankees – The only team so rich that they sponsor themselves.
Hometown Buffet Rays – Considering the average age of Florida residents, this sponsorship might have the happy side effect of fooling busloads of senior citizens into paying for a Rays ticket instead of the early bird buffet discount they think they are getting.
Pabst Blue Ribbon and KFC Red Sox – As we found out a few months ago, beer and fried chicken have been the unofficial sponsors of their mid-game snack for years. Might as well make it official.
Nippon Ham Blue Jays – Not because they sold the name for a corporate sponsorship, but because they promised to rename the city of Toronto to Nippon Ham as part of their posting bid for Yu Darvish.
National Bank of Greece Orioles – We get, Peter Angelos. You’re Greek. Enough already. Plus, wouldn’t it be the ultimate Angelos move if he had his team get sponsored by the national bank of a country in the midst of a horrendous economic collapse?
Robocop Tigers – Detroit still hasn’t built that Robocop statue yet, so hopefully this can hold the citizens over until it gets erected.
Cleveland Indians – You don’t really think any corporate entity is going to pay to attach their good name to a politically incorrect team nickname like “Indians” do you?
Clorox Bleach White Sox – What is so funny about this one is that it might actually happen. After all, we are talking about a team that once changed all their home game start times to 7:11 pm as part of a sponsorship deal with 7-11 convencience stores.
People Magazine Royals – People Magazine sold so many magazines covering the Royal Wedding that they thought the might roll dice on these Royals. This will not be a wise investment.
Mayo Clinic Twins – Forming a corporate partnership with the country’s premier medical practice for treating difficult cases might be the Twins’ best chance at getting Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau healthy again.
United States Army Rangers – Hey, they can’t all be funny. This one just makes an incredible amount of sense. It also gives them an excuse to make like their former owner and hang a “Mission Accomplished: One strike away twice!” banner from their scoreboard celebrating World Series victory that should have been.
Fox Sports West Angels – The $3 billion TV contract the Angels just signed with their regional sports network is what is allowing them to afford their recent big spending, surely the good folks at Fox wouldn’t mind the TV ratings that would come with bankrolling even more big free agent acquisitions. Quick, someone get Prince Fielder on the line!
San Jose Chamber of Commerce Athletics – If MLB won’t let them move to San Jose physically, maybe they can move their name their instead and hope it fools everyone.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge Mariners – What? Who says 18th century poets can’t sponsor a pro sports franchise?
Geno’s Steaks Phillies – Proving once and for all which cheesesteak joint is really the best. Cue outrage from half of Philadelphia in 3… 2… 1…
Real Housewives of Atlanta Braves – At least they kind of get to keep their original name this way. Besides, more people watch the show than watch the Braves, so maybe it will lead to an attendance boost. Granted, all those new fans will likely be divorcees in their forties, but the ticket sales still count just the same.
Scott Boras Nationals – This will hold especially true if Prince Fielder lands on the Nats, but just look at how many current Nationals are already Boras clients: Werth, Espinosa, Strasburg, Ankiel, Rodriguez, Cora and (coming soon) Bryce Harper.
Bank of America Mets – This one might as well be true given the state of the franchise’s finances. The added bonus for B of A is that they won’t even have to pay the Mets other than knocking a point or two off the interest rate on the $40 million loan the bank just gave the club.
Parent Television Council Marlins – Consider this a pre-emptive strike by the PTC to prevent Ozzie Guillen from swearing and saying racially-insensitive things on live TV during post-game interviews.
Valtrex Brewers – If those nasty rumors about the real reason Braun tested positive for PEDs is true, this sponsorship will make a lot more sense.
Prozac Cardinals – If any fan base is primed for anti-depressant advertising, it is the Pujols-less Cardinals fans.
Skyline Chili Reds – That isn’t remotely funny, but you have no idea how hard it was for me to not make some sort of Marge Schott Hitler reference here.
YOUR NAME HERE Pirates – Because, really, who would want to pay to sponsor the Pirates? (Odds of this line slipping past editors Lackey and Yoder, approximately .0001%)
McDonald’s Cubs – The Cubbies just ponied up $20 million to buy the McDonald’s across the street from Wrigley, so there is a built in business connection. That and they both share the same slogan “Billions Served… and Disappointed.”
Astro Glide Astros – This sponsorship only works as a joke, which is perfect because the Astros franchise is a joke right now.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio Diamondbacks – The controversial, headline-loving Arizona lawman would jump at the chance to sponsor the local team. Of course, this could prove counterproductive as he would probably try and deport all the Latino players on the team.
eBay Dodgers – With the franchise about to go up for auction, there has never been a better case of corporate sponsorship synergy.
They Might Be Giants – I’m guessing the alt-rock turned kids music group probably doesn’t have the money to make this happen, but it would definitely make me giggle.
Bud Light Rockies – Just because you know the Budweiser folks would love to stick it to Denver-based Coors.
Comic-Con Padres – San Diego hosts the biggest gathering of nerds every year, so they might as well embrace it. Just imagine a stadium full of 30,000 baseball fans dressed in Chewbacca costumes.