As the University bonding bill moves through the Minnesota Legislature, the University will continue to pursue outside contributors to fund the football stadium. The 60 percent of the total price that the University plans on scrounging up itself should be accepted only from corporations that hold the high ethical standards and practices that the University holds to its employees.
Naming rights given to TCF Financial for $35 million will give the corporation an explosion of exposure to the University community as well as competing universities and even to the nation’s public. TCF will fly out of TV and radio announcers’ lips alongside the Golden Gophers. TCF logos as well as other sponsors’ logos no doubt will be plastered throughout the stadium, on the floors, the scoreboards - and there might even be a TCF halftime show or touchdown giveaway.
The exposure is good for the University and TCF, or any major contributor for that matter. However, things do come up in business that could shine a dull light on either entity. Although the naming rights contract already has been renewed, the University should hold TCF and other contributors to high ethical standards far into the future. The $249 million TCF field will not be torn down soon after its construction. Its name will go down with the University just as famously as Mariucci Arena or the Weisman Art Museum.
Just imagine what an unethical business endeavor with that amount of exposure riding on its name could endow upon the University as well as the corporation. Imagine: Enron Field. The University needs an ethical business policy like the one that has been proposed by Graduate and Professional Student Assembly. The University must be able to shed corporate sponsorship names that will reflect badly on the University. If corporate sponsorships apparently are a given, the University must also retain the power rename if pushed to do so.