Friday, November 01, 2013

Ashley Madison offers $10 million for Belle Isle naming rights

Belle Isle in the Fall - Photo by Frank Nemecek
In one of the stranger stories to emerge in Detroit recently, Ashley Madison, the website that helps more than 22 million members find "discreet affairs" with married individuals, has offered to buy the naming rights to Belle Isle. According to an article published by Crain's Detroit Business, the company has offered the City of Detroit $10 million for the naming rights for the next ten years.

While Belle Isle is several miles from the Warrendale neighborhood, I'm confident that this is an offer that will have lots of Detroiters talking - which is probably why Ashley Madison made this offer in the first place.

The question that I keep wondering, though, is: should the City of Detroit accept their offer?

On one hand, $10 million for the naming rights to a park for the next 10 years is a good deal. The City of Detroit could use the money.

On the other hand, though, I worry about the impact accepting such an offer would have on the other corporate sponsorships that are in play on the island. Would, for example, sponsors for the grand prix or the boat races object to having their event on Ashley Madison Island? Could Detroit get a similar offer from a less controversial company?

These are the things that I wonder about as I consider Ashley Madison's proposal to buy the naming rights to Belle Isle. I would love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to share ideas in the comments below or on the Facebook page for this blog.
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