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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Why the Corporate Name Doesn’t Matter on Rupp

With the announcement of the renovations of Rupp Arena, it’s amazing to me that the topic that has generated the most conversation around BBN is not the kind of changes that would be made, or that a new arena is not going to be built, it’s the fact that a corporate name is likely to be attached to the name Rupp Arena.  And I get it.  Some people are just terrified of change.  Change their habits, and they become a wreck.  Get rid of the local store in place of a Walmart and it’s the worst move ever.  But to me, this is a completely non-issue for a bunch of reasons:


-Above all else, if you want the improvements to Rupp Arena, which are absolutely needed, then the name change is often part of the deal.  It’s the way of the world these days.  Corporations are happy to help sports franchises with arena buildings, but corporate branding needs to go along.  Reports are Rupp’s improvements will be paid for before corporate sponsorships, but college athletics are big business.  You have to try and monetize when possible.


-Until Calipari came along, UK was seen nationally as this old, curmudgeonly program with a older fanbase who were passionate about their Cats, but maybe didn’t have the loudest crowd in the world.  And frankly, Rupp Arena fit that mold.  It was big and was filled for every game.  But we all know that the lower bowl can be a bit on the older side and sometimes a little too quiet.  But, the arena also LOOKED old.  Not a lot inside the building that made it stand out on television.  That is going to change now.  No doubt some pretty great things are going to change on the inside of the building.  Better looking scoreboards, luxury-type boxes, better seats, will all make for a better experience inside the building, but also a better looking arena for television.  It’s good for all involved.  And to make that experience better, the name needs to change….which leads to the next point:


-I know we love to give UL fans crap about their arena name, but anybody who has been in that arena will tell you it’s one of the better places to watch a game.  And once you are inside, the name of the arena means very little.  I strongly doubt that any fan is going to inside Corporate Name Rupp Arena is a few years for a game against North Carolina and say “boy, I’m really excited for this game but I hate that darn name of the arena.”  Hell no you’re not going to do that.  If this renovations are done correctly and Rupp Arena becomes a great place to watch a game, then name of the arena won’t matter one bit.


-So what if the official name will be Corporate Name Rupp Arena?  Amongst UK fans, the name will always just be Rupp Arena.  So in reality, UK is going to rake in the paycheck from whatever business wants it, but the name really won’t change between the fans.  And if other fans want to make fun of it, good for them.  We make fun of their building names, they can make fun of ours.  At the end of the day, we’ll take beating the little shiz out of them on the floor over caring about the name on our building.

If you think Rupp Arena is perfect, then more power to you to complain about the changes on the horizon, including the name change.  Me, I think Rupp is due for an overhaul.  As someone who lives in Louisville and has been in the Yum! Center many times, I can tell you that UL is beating us in that department right now.  And that can’t happen.  It is time for UK to adapt and change, and Rupp Arena is a wonderful start.  It’s just a name.  Give me the product on the court, not the name on the outside.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

53 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Why the Corporate Name Doesn’t Matter on Rupp

  1. Will
    9:02 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Couldn’t agree more.

  2. GoCatsWin#9
    9:05 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Somebody please get that boy an editor!!!

  3. asdf
    9:06 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    John Wayne’s real name was Marion, but we still called him John and it didn’t keep him from being just as cool.

  4. Union Farmer
    9:09 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Completely agree. We have to evolve with the times. I’m a little surprised an educated individual like Matt Jones disagrees with this. If we want to be the best of the best, we must introduce as many corporate dollars as possible into the equation. Matt’s argument is that North Carolina, Duke or Kansas don’t sell their naming rights. He’s right about that, but their arena’s are also no where close to as nice as the Yum Center or what the new Rupp Arena will be.

  5. That'sExactlyRight
    9:09 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Agree with 1 and 3. Go Cats!

  6. PleaseBeRational
    9:12 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    I grew up in CO as a huge Broncos fan. Went to many games at old Mile High Stadium and watched John Elway win 2 super bowls. When they built the new stadium people freak out that the name would be “Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium” … About 3 weeks later no one cared anymore. Its now “Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium” and I have no idea when the change happened. Everyone still calls it Mile High just like everyone here will still call it Rupp.

  7. adam
    9:13 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Who cares as long as its Kentucky whooping ass in the arena LOL bring on the new out with the old!!!

  8. claiborne_field
    9:14 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    I wish a compromise could be reached like Rupp Arena at the Alltech Center or something like that. Give the naming rights to the larger project in which Rupp is a part. That way Rupp continues being “Rupp” but its “official” name includes the entire project.

  9. australiacatfan
    9:15 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    I could NOT disagree more. Having local names for arenas gives local colour to a region. It would be interesting to see if the new corporate named arena simply invests millions into refurbishments but also gets a piece of the newly raised ticket prices. Just scroll down the names of venues of any major touring artists..between Dick’s Commercial Centre and the place in Seattle that is literally a 1-800-Number it is sad and says nothing of of the local traditions of the place. All for a bit money that we don’t need. UK basketb all makes enough already.

    Duke Plays at Cameron
    UCLA at Pauley
    Kansas at Fog Allen
    Kentucky plays at Rupp

    Great programs keep their tradition. Other ones get their stadiums named after fast food restaurants.

  10. Icecream Man
    9:15 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Does your church have a corporate sponsor?

  11. bluemister
    9:16 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    I couldn’t care less what the corporate name on Rupp is if they make significant changes. To update seating in the lower arena where people are half asleep and to ignore updating the upper level seating where most of the noise comes from shows where the focus still is and how out of touch the renovation leadership is. It’s too bad a new arena couldn’t be funded and get totally away from the city and the convention center crowd.

  12. Han
    9:16 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    There are still people who want us to have a home game in Memorial for old times’ sake. Just ignore the whiners.

    Just avoid the more controversial companies (I’m sure they will) and let some company pay to have sportscasters mention their name while the rest of us just say Rupp.

  13. mike
    9:18 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    if we are going to take a corporate sponsor, i think we should at least only accept a business that is at least somewhat dignified. like a bank or something.

  14. bsquaredcat
    9:23 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    #4 is the reason I could care less. Tack the money-giver onto the front, and everyone will still call it Rupp Arena. Win-win. Certainly worth it to get the improvements they are talking about.

  15. BigBlue
    9:23 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    The picture of the front of the new arena look awesome! I’ll all for updating and making Rupp Arena awesome inside as well. We do need to keep up with the times, and a renovation is long overdue. As long as Rupp is in the name somewhere, WHO CARES if it’s Corporate Name Rupp Arena or Rupp Arena at Corporate Name. It will still be Big Blue Nation.

  16. GARY
    9:23 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    I believe the name should remain RUPP ARENA until a new facility is funded and built. The city of LEXINGTON has reaped the benefits of UK Basketball and all the other functions that occur. The arena has been paid for ten fold by the citizens of KENTUCKY.

    If the city of Lexington doesn’t have the financial capabilities to execute the need renovations then the University of Kentucky should seek funding from its citizens for a new ON CAMPUS ARENA.

  17. johnthegreat
    9:26 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    It should be a Kentucky company at least… should be anything like the Louisville’s…I mean the Yum Center has pretty much become a euphemism for oral sex among my friends….did your girlfriend take you to the Yum Center yet?

  18. BPM
    9:27 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Can’t believe I actually agree with BTI on something. I need to rethink my life.

  19. Travis
    9:30 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    I caller brought this up yesterday on the radio show, but UK will not be raking in anything because UK doesn’t own the building. The city will reap the benefits of corporate naming rights being sold, UK will not receive a single penny. More money for the mayor to build his parks and streams.

  20. JohnW
    9:33 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Let them do what they want I can’t afford tickets now won’t be able to when the update is done… It will just be a bigger lower arena with the old money crowd that sleeps and doesn’t wear blue to the games…. I will watch it on TV in HD with out the high ticket price…high concession, and parking fees…

  21. here ya go
    9:33 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    The people who don’t care that they are selling naming rights are the younger crowd who only care about green paper with dead presidents on it. They have no loyalty to anything or anyone but themselves and would sell their own mothers for a 2 dollar bill.Sitting in the lower levels of Rupp is a right handed down from generation to generation,or for people who have excelled in getting those dead presidents. The self centered whiners don’t want that right earned,they want it handed to them. The “ME” generation is, and will continue to be, the decline of our great nation.Go listen to your rap, wearing your pants under your ass, turning your hat sideways with a flat bill and a price tag, and bragging to your friends how awesome you are. The blue hairs as you call then will continue to work hard,dress accordingly to the occasion, and pocket the money that you only hear bragged about in the crap music you listen to.

  22. AshleyJ
    9:36 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t mind it being Rupp Arena at Whoever Center. Anything with Rupp in the title.

  23. bung
    9:44 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    I also think the White House should be replaced since it is so old…maybe a Ranch style with lots of neon and a new name…

  24. BPM
    9:50 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    21, that is probably one of the dumbest things I have ever read. Kind of pathetic really.

  25. Pistol Pete
    9:52 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Pure bull

  26. Only n Kentucky
    9:54 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    “I strongly doubt that any fan is going to inside Corporate Name Rupp Arena is a few years”

    And then this site has the nerve to bash other fanbases and programs. Enough said!

  27. bung
    9:57 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Adolph’s Meat Tenderizer should have the only chance at a Corporate sponsorship…Adolph’s Rupp Arena sounds ok…

  28. True BBN
    10:04 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Rants and ramblings from a generation that doesn’t know the tradition and history that comes with the name Rupp Arena. What is the most dissappointing about BTI and the rest of the 20 year olds is that they are too willing to abdanon any and all aspects of our history for something new and shiny. Oh, Louisville has a new arena so we need a new arena. Louisville has a corporate sponsor so we need a corporate sponsor. BS!!! If we are the gold standard in college basketball then we set the standards. We are the program that others despise and secretly wish to be like. Boys, the name on the side of the building is just as important as the name on the front of the jersey. Once you sell out one or the other, you might as well burn the damn thing to the ground and build one that has more advertising than Lowe’s Moter Speedway!

  29. What about
    10:08 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Whitaker’s Bankshot Rupp Arena
    Bank of Kentucky’s Rupp Arena

  30. johnthegreat
    10:19 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Look I like rap as much as the next scared caucasian, but #21 despite being a ranting loon is right about this generations obbession with whatever happened two seconds ago and this fixation on money…there is more to life than money folks…get off the treadmill and get yourselves a trip to the Yum Center (see my previous post #17) tradition is what keeps this program great…not Mercedes Benz Rupp Arena…although Trojan Condom Arean would be a laugh

  31. jwmsix
    10:23 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    People against are the same ones that went crazy over gray uniforms, whick looked better than any they have worn. What a stupid stance and Matt loves the hits so he just pushes the stupidity.

  32. Just saying
    10:27 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    NO ONE will out bid Joe Craft and Alliant Coal. NOW will people band it?

  33. fullmontycat
    10:27 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    I wouldn’t mind if it was Poop Arena if it was on campus and UK owned it. None of this matters if UK is still leasing the building and increased ticket prices are going to fund fields and streams projects.

  34. Concerned Alum
    10:30 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    What do we as UK fans, and alumni take pride in??? TRADITION!!!! TRADITION!!! TRADITION!!!! We talk about having the the most wins, the 8 banners, all the great players to wear the blue and white, all the history of greatness that is UK basketball.

    Now lets say screw it and sell it to the highest bidder!!! Put it on ebay so that everyone with a wifi connection that are evolving can check out the latest bid on your iphone. Adolph Rupp IS, WAS, and ALWAYS WILL BE Kentucky basketball, not some corporation. We are UK! We should not whore out the name of our arena named after the great coach that started the #1 basketball program ever. TRADITION should matter, not what a bunch of stiff board room executives want to buy it for, TRADITION is NOT FOR SALE!!! I am very concerned that we will rush for the $$$$ and be just another run of the mill university looking to make a quick buck. We aren’t a Yum Center kind of program.

  35. fullmontycat
    10:31 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    The city of Lexington is treating this project like it is one big grant opportunity where they can spruce up the downtown and increase sales tax revenues and not spend any of its own money. Who is the grant source? As of now it looks like Eastern Kentuckians and fans. If you live in Lexington this is a great deal. If not, bend over.

  36. ThePresident
    10:31 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    @23, the White House has been renovated before and will most likely need it again from time to time. No reason Rupp Arena can’t be updated to meet the needs. Did people complain that Memorial Coliseum wasn’t named after Rupp while he was coaching there?

  37. fullmontycat
    10:32 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Tradition! Tradition! Tradition??? … is not playing your home games off-campus in a leased arena. That is all.

  38. Matthew
    10:38 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    @21, so you think that just because I can’t afford season tickets in the lower bowl that means that I don’t work as hard for my money? I’m not going to hurl insults at you or call you names but I will say that is one of the worst arguments I’ve ever heard. The younger generation of UK fans care just as much about the tradition as the people who write the big checks to sit down low do. Those people that sit down low have earned that right to sit down low but they also are not above criticism when we lesser-thans sitting up high cheering as loud as we can see them sitting with their arms folded watching the clock and waiting for late in the second half to head towards their cars to beat the traffic home. No matter what name sits in front or behind the Rupp Arena name I will always just know it as Rupp Arena. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go flatten my hat bill, pull my pants down, and go turn up some rap because I think I am pretty awesome. Go Big Blue!

  39. Cancerisstupid
    10:42 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    I agree with Matt Alot but couldn’t disagree more. It will always be Rupp. Yum never had another name, Papa Johns never had another name. It is a renovation not a new build. Don’t worry about how they make the sausage ( it will make u sick ) Just enjoy the sausage when it’s done !!!

  40. Supporter
    10:44 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    @38 WAY TO TELL #21!!!! Let’s just try to support whatever the end result will be. I’ll still be sitting in the upper deck for each home game and supporting my team no matter what name is on the building along side Rupp’s name. WeAreUK

  41. bung
    10:48 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    number 36…Memorial started construction shortly after WW2 and before Rupp had won 4 Championships…it was dedicated as a Memorial to our war veterans, hence the name…

  42. ThePresident
    11:03 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    @41. DAH, REALLY!! I just said did people complain that it wasn’t named after Rupp WHILE he was coaching there. You know, as in RENAME to honor him AFTER his 4 Championships!

  43. Smiley Pete
    11:06 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    @21 – Youre criticizing people for wanting things handed to them without working for it, and yet, also claim that your tickets are a right handed down from your family. I hate to be the own to break this to you but, a hand-me-down is also a hand out. You didn’t work for that money and earn those tickets, your parents did. Rather than assign your self worth on the success of your parents, you should make your own achievements.

  44. Musehobo
    11:06 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    You got it right, for once.

  45. Biglaw Dawgin'
    11:07 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Just like UL fans still just call it the “Yum! Center.” Or is it the “KFC Center”? That’s a lose/lose. At least both portions of Rupp’s name won’t be corporately sponsored.

  46. Matthew
    11:22 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    AFH capacity-16,000
    Cameron Indoor- 9,400
    Pauley- 13,800
    If UK wants to decide to build an on campus arena on campus and have these capacities they could break ground tomorrow and build it with private donors. If we want to continue to be able to have nearly 24,000 people anywhere (either downtown or on campus) there will have to be help from corporate sponsors. Those screaming about tradition kind if lost there battle once they decided to build Rupp and stopped playing games in Memorial. UK could have easily decided over 30 years ago that they were going to care more about tradition and less about getting more people in the stands when Rupp was built. My feelings on the tradition of the program have always been about the players on the court and the coaches on the sidelines, not the buildings that they play in. Does it take away from the tradition that all of the championship games are played in different arenas? No. So why do you think it kills any tradition if the arena is called Lexmark Rupp Arena? The kids on the court are still going to be wearing the blue and white, the fans are still going to be the greatest in college basketball and they are going to continue to uphold all the traditions that have happened inside the building, they’ll just be doing it in a nicer arena with a small name change.

  47. buzzard
    11:48 am July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Well said # 9. Rupp is the sole of Kentucky Basketball. We shouldn’t sell the sole of UK Basketball to a corporation. The University of Kentucky Wildcats should play in Rupp Arena.. end of debate. I wonder how many people would sell the ‘naming rights’ to their children? How bout Matt ‘Wallmart’ Jones? He could get a free lifetime supply of cheap shit made in China!

  48. Soleman
    12:12 pm July 12, 2013 Permalink

    I think Nike is the sole of Kentucky Basketball. Rupp can’t even be considered as the soul of Kentucky Basketball since is wasn’t built until after 4 championships had been won and tradition had been established. I can’t believe that people speak of tradition when talking about an arena that was built in the 70’s. Wrigley Field is tradition. Lambeau Field is tradition. Boston Garden is tradition and even they have gone the corporate route. Change is inevitable as time marches on. You can change with it or be left behind in the history books. Oh, by the way I hold this opinion even though I am old enough for an AARP membership (just not liberal enough).

  49. No KFC
    12:15 pm July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Big Ass sponsorship is the best idea. And stop with the Yummy comparisons. It’s an NBA style arena. Half the UL fans watch from the Maker’s bar. If you’re in a suite (I have been) it’s too easy to eat, drink, chat. Fans don’t focus on the game. The best cure for Rupp is to move the blue hairs out of the arena, give them big tv’s and bourbon, and give the students their seats. Once a visiting UL supporter sat behind us (we DO have lower arena seats–yea) in state gov. seats and told my husband to sit down (a former player.) What ensued was not pretty, much to the delight of the BBN around us. So get the rich tah-tahs out of the lower arena. Who cares what the corporate name is. Still Rupp to everyone.

  50. Whateva
    12:51 pm July 12, 2013 Permalink

    49 you are lying who stands up in the lower bowl?

  51. jhnny
    12:57 pm July 12, 2013 Permalink

    Non-issue to me. Who cares? Everyone is going to call it Rupp anyway.

    Years ago they renamed Riverfront Stadium (in Cincinnati) to some corporate name (didn’t even keep Riverfront in it) and everyone still called it Riverfront. Everyone calls the city where Rupp Arena is located, Lexington. But that city doesn’t exist in Kentucky. Officially, the city’s name is “Lexington-Fayette Urban County” but people seem to forget to say the Fayette Urban County part. Its Lexington. Same with Louisville, which is some long name that even when they made an official short name for it “Louisville Metro” no one used that either- its Louisville.

    Guys its Rupp Arena. If someone is dumb enough to pay money to put there name in front of it, lets take their money and move on.

  52. Mike
    11:42 pm July 12, 2013 Permalink

    I agree with 28,a true Kentucky fan knows the history behind not just the name on the arena but the name on the jersey as well. I don’t give a crap about the sponsor as long as they respect what the real fans want for our city and basketball program the building deserves to say rupp arena like it has for years it’s the tradition of Kentucky basketball it should always be that way if the rest of you are to blind to see that then you need to seriously reconsider what basketball program your for!

  53. Dee W.
    9:58 am July 13, 2013 Permalink

    Can’t believe no one has mentioned Old Folks. “Hello friend, Al Purnell’s Rupp Arena” sounds good to me.