According to Guaranteed Rate‘s website, one of its core promises is “low, low rates…”, making a downward facing arrow a fitting logo. That arrow, however, has now found itself on the home of the Chicago White Sox, adding to an already-controversial naming rights deal.
When Guaranteed Rate Field was announced in August, it was decried by many White Sox fans and media members as a poor choice for a ballpark name. At the time, some noted Guaranteed Rate’s downward facing arrow and said it was not a good look for ballpark signage and branding.
We’re excited to unveil the new Guaranteed Rate Field! pic.twitter.com/pAOXZM1R9h
— Guaranteed Rate (@GuaranteedRate) November 1, 2016
Recently, the White Sox unveiled ballpark logo and signage. The logo has already prompted some backlash from fans and media, but Guaranteed Rate says that incorporating the emblem was absolutely essential for its partnership with the White Sox. More from Crain’s Chicago Business:
“I know that there are fans that don’t like the fact that there’s a downward red arrow on the ballpark, but I have a hard time understanding the relevance between our mortgage company’s main logo and how that negatively impacts the team or the fans,” said Guaranteed Rate CEO Victor Ciardelli. “The whole reason we’re doing this is to build national brand recognition.”
A commitment to branding is why the signs going up this week around the 25-year-old stadium look virtually the same as the company’s logo, except for the word “field” at the end.
Ciardelli said the design was a joint effort between the company’s in-house creative team and the Sox, who suggested replacing the arrow with an image of home plate. “But I told the White Sox that it’s our company logo, and they were respectful of the decision” to keep the arrow after all, Ciardelli said.
The attention—and even the backlash—that stemmed from the name change put a huge spotlight on the brand and has already started to pay off, he said. More resumes have rolled in, and web traffic and business leads have increased.
Guaranteed Rate is taking over for U.S. Cellular as the ballpark’s naming rights partner.