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My MBA at the University of Phoenix Online, Part 3.5: The Stadium

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As you may know, I’ve been writing a series about my experiences with the University of Phoenix Online. So far, I’ve written about my decision, the admissions process and course logistics. Before continuing with the rest of the series, I wanted to mention a recent development.

The University has purchased naming rights to the stadium in which the NFL‘s Arizona Cardinals play. Thus, the professional sports arena will be known as University of Phoenix Stadium. This is another good business move for the Apollo Group, the parent company of the University, but it doesn’t play well in real life. A stadium name like that implies the sports team that plays there is affiliated with the university. Apollo Stadium would have been a much better choice in my opinion, but it wouldn’t put forth the brand identity that the University wants to enhance. The University has more students than any other private school in the country, but does not have its own football team.

I don’t think this was a smart move, all things considered. The University of Phoenix is now paying $154 million over 20 years for something that just doesn’t sit quite right with a lot of people, although they will be hosting the Fiesta Bowl and the 2008 Super Bowl.

How’s the media taking the news? The jokes are flying. A letter to the editor of the Arizona Republic says, “The University of Phoenix has become synonymous with overpriced, mediocre education… The Arizona Cardinals provide an overpriced product that appears to be still struggling to rise to the level of mediocrity. It is indeed a delicious irony that these two corporations have mated.” There is more irony in the move as the Cardinals had played in a college stadium until the new one was built, and the new stadium is in Glendale, Arizona, not Phoenix.

The good news is that the football organization might be able to take the money earned from selling the naming rights and build a better team.

Updated October 3, 2006 and originally published October 2, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Pete Wright

Hey Flexo — Important correction: University of Phoenix will be paying $154 million over 20 years for the deal, not $455. That amounts to just under $8 million a year — a LOT better deal! I’ll be posting a more detailed post on the deal, and I’m hoping to get a podcast episode up with the guy who put the deal together on our side of things very soon, so stay tuned at Tuesday12.com! Thanks for the good work, as always!

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,372 (Platinum)

Thanks, Pete. I fixed the amount in the post.

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avatar DoubleJ

I’ve been looking forward to your next installment of your MBA. Have you posted Part 4, yet? If so, where can I find it?

Thanks
DoubleJ

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avatar Flatbeer

Hey Flexo,

Are you going to finish the ‘My MBA at the University of Phoenix Online’ series?

Thanks,
Flatbeer

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,372 (Platinum)

DoubleJ & Flatbeer: I have different portions of the rest of the series written, but I’m still working on pulling it all together.

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avatar Mike

First you say “This is another good business move for the Apollo Group” and then “I don’t think this was a smart move.” Way to take a stand on the issue!

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,372 (Platinum)

Mike: I think I made clear that it may be a smart *business* move, but in reality — going *beyond* pure dollars and cents — it probably does more damage than good. I think they miscalculated public perception.

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