So much attention has been fixed on the recent mega-merger of concert promoter Live Nation and ticket behemoth Ticketmaster—creating one massive "convenience fee"-charging entity—that this little gem almost went unnoticed. Fiddler's Green Amphitheater in the Denver area will be renamed the Comfort Dental Amphitheater in a deal between the Colorado-based marketer and Live Nation. The 18,000-seat amphitheater, the largest outdoor venue in the state, has Chicago, the Doobie Brothers and Tim McGraw scheduled to perform this summer. But no matter the quality of the entertainment, I defy you, any of you, to set foot in that newly named place without thinking about the root canals in your future and how many cleanings you've skipped lately. Comfort Dental, with 1.5 million patients in five states, will have its name grace the stadium for three years, and its execs said something about the "positive feeling" from listening to music carrying over to the brand on your "next dental visit." Naming rights are tricky—just ask any failed financial institution or bankrupt marketer—but selling this one to the public has to be like pulling teeth. Note to self: Must floss.
—Posted by T.L. Stanley