Debt-ridden city looks to sell naming rights

A Japanese city wants to reduce its debt and attract business by selling its naming rights.
Written by Tyler Falk, Contributor

The city of Izumisano in Japan is looking for a quick profit to help reduce its $1.2 billion debt.

No need to get too familiar with the city's name, though. They're hoping to sell its naming rights -- like you see with many sports stadiums in the United States -- for about $12 million over 10 years. Included in the contract, the city wants the buyer to commit to building some type of connection with the city. Moving a company headquarters to the city would suffice.

The Japanese city of 100,000 is known for its towel-making industry. It also has one of the tallest buildings in Japan along with the nearby Kansai International Airport. But the airport is partly to blame for the city's debt problem. Built on an island in the Osaka Bay,  the city spent a lot of money to connect the airport to the city center.

But will the city be able to lure in a company to brand the city? AFP says it might not be so easy:

Officials originally announced the plan in June but had no takers, the official said. So far the bulk of inquiries have been from some of the city's 103,000 residents annoyed with the plan.

The plan is clearly to earn money from naming rights and attract a private corporation looking to put down roots in the city, creating revenue to help lower the debt. It's not a bad idea, but if the city changes its name, what will the city be left with when the 10 year contract is up? They might have another crisis on their hands: an identity crisis.

Indebted city looking to sell naming rights [AFP]

Photo: Flickr/double-h

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