Let me guess: You don't like the name Globe Life Park in Arlington. I get it (though I kind of like the idea of "The Globe" and some Shakespearean humor). The park has been Rangers Ballpark in Arlington or just The Ballpark in Arlington for all but four years of its 20-year existence and now there's another corporate sponsor on the building.
But understand that this deal, for 10 years, is yet another sign of the Rangers positioning themselves to be annual contenders. We don't know the details of the deal yet, but Minute Maid paid $6 million-plus to put its name on the Astros' stadium. Most MLB deals, according to a Sports Business Daily study in 2011, hover around $3 million. So if that's what this is, that's money that can increase the budget a little in the coming decade.
Whether you think that's worth is up to you, but with the way salaries are going and the need to spend money on scouting and development all over the world, any amount of money coming in on a yearly basis helps.
The Rangers sure have come a long way in 3½ years, haven't they? The club that was mired in bankruptcy court and eventually sold in auction to the current ownership group (minus two of the biggest public faces, Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan) in August 2010 is now one of the most financially stable teams in the big leagues.
On Wednesday, the Rangers added another revenue stream with the agreement with Globe Life, a Dallas-area insurance company based in McKinney, Texas. If you couple that with the huge television deal signed a few years ago that kicks in next year, the Rangers are in solid shape financially. This ownership group has made it clear that it wants a contender and has already showed that by opening the checkbook. So expect most of the money generated from the sale of the naming rights to be put back into the club.
General manager Jon Daniels and his staff built the Rangers despite a limited budget. The Mark Teixeira trade -- which yielded, among others, Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz and Matt Harrison -- was the biggest piece of a long-term plan to rebuild the minor league system and gain currency in the form of prospects. Texas used those prospects, even in the midst of bankruptcy, to acquire ace Cliff Lee, who helped get the franchise to its first World Series.
Once this ownership group -- of which Ryan and Greenberg were the public faces, but Ray Davis, Bob Simpson, Neil Leibman and others were the money behind the purchase -- came on board, Daniels got the added bonus of having some money to spend and the ability to make trades. The result is a team that has become an annual contender. Ownership has shown a willingness to spend, even before the TV deal (worth a reported $3 billion over 20 years) becomes effective in 2015. They wrote a check for $51.7 million to Yu Darvish's Japanese club and then spent another $56 million guaranteed to sign him in 2012. They spent $80 million on Adrian Beltre, and it could become $96 million if the vesting option kicks in for the final year of his deal. This offseason, ownership didn't hesitate to add to the payroll through the trade for Prince Fielder and the acquisition of Shin-Soo Choo. Neither of those were cheap purchases.
Don't forget that money was also allocated internationally because the Rangers spent money on signing bonuses for players all over the world. That can't happen without a steady cash flow. Every little bit of additional income helps.
So while Wednesday's news was about a corporation putting its name on the ballpark, it should have a direct -- and positive -- impact on the front office.