The 2010 Super Bowl will be played at Dolphin Stadium (the venue currently known as Land Shark Stadium). Unless, of course, the Dolphins are lucky enough to land another corporate sponsor in the coming months, which is not something Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross expects to happen in this economy.
For now, the Dolphin Stadium signs are slowly being replaced with Land Shark signs. The NFL’s Super Bowl bid specifications prohibit the host venue of the Super Bowl to be named for a short-term deal, which is what the Land Shark deal is. It’s been described as a marketing or branding opportunity, since a source says Land Shark isn’t contributing money to the deal.
The deal elicited some unusual responses from some NFL team owners at the spring meeting in Fort Lauderdale this week.
“I think Steve Ross is a great entrepreneur. He knows what he’s doing,” New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said.
“I certainly have no objection to it,” Houston Texans owner Bob McNair said. “We look at all types of businesses and we sell beer along with food. You know, it could be Wiener Stadium or something. So I don’t view that as a problem. They might think, though, that Greg Norman might have an interest in it, too.”
With the New York Giants and Jets seeking a naming rights partner for the new stadium they will share, Giants co-owner John Mara told my colleague Ethan J. Skolnick, the Land Shark deal wouldn’t be his choice for a corporate sponsorship.
“It's such a unique deal. I just don't know,” Mara said. “Certainly, it's not the deal we're looking for. But there are a lot of circumstances that went into that, and I don't pretend to understand them all. I don't think we'll see too many more of those.”
Meanwhile, Land Shark Lager wasn’t in the Anheuser-Busch section at our neighborhood Publix last week. It wasn’t in the premium domestics either, but there was one 12-pack nestled between the Mexican and Dutch beers. (It’s brewed in Jacksonville). It was on sale for $12.99 – a savings of $1.70.