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Tropical Storm Naming Rights Up For Sale
by Kris on 5/9/2007 (0)

This can't be good...
Since 1979, hurricanes and other tropical storms have been taking on alternating male and female names. You may remember popular hurricanes and tropical storms such as Hugo, Klaus, and Bob. As Hurricane Season 2007 prepares for opening day, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has announced a new twist in to the naming conventions typically used, corporate sponsorship. This will open the door for the likes of Hurricane FedEx, Hurricane Lincoln Financial, and Tropical Storm Budweiser.

The WMO is a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, providing the definitive voice on the state and behavior of the Earth's atmosphere, its interaction with the oceans, the climate it produces and the resulting distribution of water resources. Worldwide concern about issues such as global warming along with increasing costs of monitoring weather conditions worldwide have lead the WMO to seek new sources of income.

Professional sports teams in America that license their stadium names to corporate sponsors charge on average $2.9 million per year for 19 years, roughly $54 million in total. Should the sponsor not renew the deal at the end of their contract, the name will go to the highest bidder. The advantage of having a hurricane or storm named after one's company is that the name will be attached to the hurricane forever. This name will be written in text books, magazine articles, and encyclopedias for generations to come.

The pricing for a hurricane name is currently being debated by the WMO and should be formally announced within two weeks. It is likely there will be tiered pricing based on how destructive a storm is estimated to become. A category one hurricane may be purchased for under $10 million whereas a coveted category five storm could go for as much as $400 million.

"The brand awareness of being attached to a hurricane, especially a very destructive one, would be immeasurable," commented a CEO of one interested Fortune 500 Company. "Can you imagine if this had been around a few years ago and you could have gotten the naming rights for Hurricane Katrina? Granted your company probably wouldn't be very popular in New Orleans, but your company name would be mentioned millions of times in print and other media for hundreds of years to come. Literally everyone in the world would know who you were."isplay0" style="display:no

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