What's in a name? Proofreading perhaps?

>> Saturday

While Major League Soccer has made huge strides, especially in the last 5 years towards financial viability and visibility in the American sports scene, they are still capable of showing bewildering moments of ineptitude and flat out stupidity, that it makes you wonder how any of these people ever graduated from middle school.

The latest mishap involves the Chicago Fire and their new soccer-specific stadium, the fourth in the country, which they will move into next month. As of May 6, no press conference or official announcement has been made as to the corporate sponsorship of the stadium's naming rights. However, that didn't stop the Fire, who shortly after being awarded the 2006 MLS All-Star Game, released an ad in the print edition of the Chicago Sun-Times encouraging fans to buy tickets for the All-Star Game at "Toyota Park."

Fire President and CEO John Guppy called the ad an, "inappropriate ad placement in conjunction with a deal that's not completed." (Hold that thought)

What really cracks me up about this PR mishap is the given reason "the misplaced ad existed in the first place is that the Fire and Toyota are at the point in negotiations where they are designing a logo for the stadium." Now I don't know a lot about negotiations of this kind, but it would seem to me that if the respective parties are designing a logo for the grounds, this deal is pretty much.....um.....completed? In which case, send out the friggin press release.

Whatever the Fire's strategy for timing their announcement, the bigger question here is, doesn't anyone in the front office proofread these things before they get sent to major newspapers? I hope the same guy doesn't do payroll too.


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