White Sox fans react to ballpark's new name

Lissa Druss Christman, branding expert at Serafin & Associates, talks about the implications of the White Sox ballpark name change.

- The Chicago White Sox have sold the stadium naming rights to a new company, so starting after this season, US Cellular Field will become Guaranteed Rate Field.

But there’s a certain rebelliousness brewing with Sox fans, and at the game Thursday night they had some interesting reactions.

“Not very good, I don't like it too much, I'm not gonna lie,” said Dan Steffeck, who added “(it) just doesn't have a good ring to it."

“Well, I know that they call Guaranteed Rate, G-Rate, so they gonna call it G-Rate Park,” wondered Rhonda Washington, shaking her head. “No good, no that’s not right, don’t like it.”

The naming rights were bought by Chicago based mortgage company Guaranteed Rate, whose logo happens to be a down arrow, which was getting jeered on social media.

But the company CEO is hoping fans will come around and adopt G-rated nicknames.

“We like Rate Field, The Rate Field, the Rate,” said Victor Ciardelli, Guaranteed Rate CEO.

But he knows fans will come up with their own nicknames.

Ciardelli founded the company 16 years ago and was thrilled to get the naming rights contract.

“I am a huge Chicago sports fan and I am definitely a Chicago Cubs fan and a White Sox fan,” Ciardellis said.

The White Sox decided that Guaranteed Rate was just the right fit for the team.

“When you look at the White Sox, our core and our base is here. We are Chicago. And to have a Chicago-based company by people who are passionate about Chicago, passionate about Chicago Sports, that's a great partner for us to have,” said Brooks Boyer, White Sox Sr. VP of Marketing.

“It's always Comiskey,” said Mike Beecher and his reaction was fairly typical.

But others tried to be good sports about it.

“I definitely didn’t expect it, but Guaranteed Rate Park, it could work,” said Charles Washington.

But others wish for the old days.

“Why can't we just go back to the old school, Cominskey (sic), old south side Sox Park, why not? Why do we have to keep changing everything? Like the Sears Tower, why did it have to become the Willis Tower?” wondered Megan Diamond with a laugh.

The contract for the stadium name is for the next 13 years. Terms were not disclosed.

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