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Stadium Gives Birth to 2-Headed Monster

September 29, 2004|David Colker | Times Staff Writer

The naming rights to San Francisco's venerable Candlestick Park have been sold, and the stadium will now be known as Monster Park.

But which Monster is behind the deal?

Monster Cable Products Inc., which makes high-end speaker wires and other components, bought the rights in a four-year, $6-million pact. But the privately held company is far less famous than Monster Worldwide Inc., operator of the Monster website frequented by job seekers. And that could lead to some confusion.

"They have created a monster," said Dean Bonham, a sports marketing expert whose Denver company has made a specialty of negotiating naming rights for stadiums. "If you are buying naming rights to give your company more recognition and you end up giving another company the recognition, that is a major issue."

The folks at Monster Worldwide certainly hope so. "Anytime the Monster name is used, it can only benefit us," said Kevin Mullins, a spokesman for the Maynard, Mass.-based company formerly known as

Candlestick used to be called 3Com Park, but a naming deal with computer networking company 3Com Corp. expired in 2002. The Monster agreement will net about $3 million each for the stadium's owner, the city of San Francisco, and its current tenant, the San Francisco 49ers National Football League team.

Executives at Monster Cable, whose offices in Brisbane, Calif., are a mere three miles from the stadium, knew that calling the stadium Monster Park could cause some confusion. But they reckoned it was more cool than Monster Cable Park.

"I think it would have turned the fans off," said "Head Monster" Noel Lee, who founded the company in his garage 25 years ago.

Besides, Lee figures, it's only fair to repay the other Monster, which deploys its orange airship over nationally televised sporting events.

"Every time they fly a blimp over the Super Bowl," Lee said, "people think it's us."

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