Jackie: Shoppers in London when they want to go to Harrods on the Underground at the moment they catch the Piccadilly Line and they get off at Knightsbridge.
Richard: But can you imagine getting the Coca-Cola line and getting off at Nike Station?
Jackie: But something very similar is happening with the Madrid Underground for one month this summer.
Richard: Yes. So for this week's podcastsinenglish.com business podcast, we're talking about sponsorship, or more specifically, naming rights.
Jackie: So what's happening in Madrid, Richard?
Richard: Well, there's a central Madrid station called Puerto del Sol.
Jackie: Yes, Sol, very popular with all the tourists, it goes to all the shopping areas.
Richard: Exactly. But for a month this summer, they're going to change the name and they're going to call it the Sol Galaxy Note.
Jackie: What is the Galaxy Note?
Richard: It's the new smartphone from Samsung.
Jackie: Right. And apparently it's not just the name of the station. The stairs, the lifts, the doors, the corridors, all the trains are going to be re-branded. But just for a month? It sounds crazy to me; it just doesn't seem long enough for... for the product to be ingrained in people's minds.
Richard: Yes, but I think it's... it's quite a controversial issue I think, so I think they're just testing the water maybe and it could be the shape of things to come.
Jackie: It's... it's not happening on the London Underground, Richard, but something very similar has already happened with the football stadiums in the UK.
Richard: Yes, it started a few years ago. Arsenal built a brand new stadium, obviously very expensive, but their sponsors, Emirates, paid for a lot of it in return for it being called the Emirates Stadium.
Jackie: So they got the naming rights to the stadium.
Richard: Yeah and it was a new stadium so the fans weren't too bothered 'cos they got the money.
Jackie: Now, so what... what happened with Newcastle? 'Cos I know that the Newcastle fans were very annoyed.
Richard: Yes, Newcastle, very old established club, iconic ground: St. James' Park, a lot of history and their sponsors have re-named it the Sports Direct Arena, and that hasn't gone down very well at all.
Jackie: Because surely the name of the... of the stadium is all part of the corporate identity. In a way, Old Trafford is Manchester United, Anfield is Liverpool, so I can imagine them being very fed up about that and what happens when the sponsorship runs out?
Richard: Yes. Um... a few years ago Leicester City's ground was called the Walker Stadium because it was sponsored by Walker's Crisps. However, now it's called the King Power Stadium. It's got new sponsors, a new name.
Jackie: So the football team loses the sponsorship, loses the name of the stadium and, for me, loses some of its identity.
Richard: Yes but now it's all about the money. The fans don't like their stadium being changed but they certainly like big money coming into the club to buy new players.
Jackie: So you're saying that the sponsorship and the naming rights has become more important than the culture and the tradition of the game.
Richard: It's becoming more important that's for sure; money talks.
Jackie: Mmm, well, I'm not sure how I feel about Knightsbridge being called Nike... Nike Station, but you the listeners, what do you think? Is this a... is this good business sense or something else?
Richard: Yes. Let us know, we'd certainly like to hear from you.