With Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman angling to save a few bucks by taking the HP name off the HP Pavilion in San Jose, city officials have talked optimistically about finding a new sponsor.
Before the city accepts a few shekels for something woefully dull like BNSF Center, it ought to tap the innovative possibilities of Silicon Valley. As a full-service column, we want to help. A few ideas:
SIRI STADIUM -- Naming the arena for Siri, the iPhone's voice assistant, can only expand her personality. She could announce penalties and sing"The Star-Spangled Banner." Think of the cross-marketing possibilities for Apple: Siri sweatshirts, Siri towels, Siri skates. If the Stanley Cup finals ever come to San Jose, it could be Siri's Series.
ADOBE HUT -- A natural option that salutes downtown's biggest corporate presence and San Jose's adobe history along the Guadalupe River. Adobe got a big subsidy in the '90s to move downtown: It's time to give back. The "Hut'' tells you no seat is bad. And the name has a memorable ring. "Did you see Springsteen at the Hut Friday night?"
ANDROID ARENA -- Alliteration alone lifts this to an above-average grade in Marketing 101. Google makes more money than it can deploy usefully. A few million thrown at marketing its software for smartphones and tablets is a no-brainer. You might even create a Mr. Android to welcome the throngs. Is Andy Rubin available?
SAMSUNG GALAXY -- If the Hut bespeaks intimacy, the Galaxy promises achievement. The name alone could lift an aging Sharks' team. Naturally, the scoreboard would have to be redone to mimic the Galaxy smartphone. The company can afford that bauble. The city just gave a Samsung division $7 million in concessions to stay in North San Jose.
BATTLE OF THE BULGE -- The third-floor section of the arena that juts out in curved fashion is known as "The Bulge," an artifact of the way the architects expanded their plans to deal with luxury suites for hockey. The name could easily be sold to Weight Watchers or the History Channel. On special occasions, Randy Hahn and Drew Remenda could broadcast games in World War II uniforms.
CISCO HUB -- Cisco could wait years for Lew Wolff to open Cisco Field in San Jose. It's time to seize the opportunity at hand. The Hub is nearly as memorable as the Hut. And it has the advantage of pushing one of Cisco's products, its desktop hub for connecting devices. It would rival the Pavilion in a happy double entendre.
FACEBOOK FAN SITE -- OK, a stretch. But Facebook's founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is spending liberally to create a political action coalition on issues like immigration and government reform. Grabbing the name of the arena is no more questionable than entertaining New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Besides, the drop of the puck could be called the "Facebook Faceoff."
SAN JOSE ARENA -- When the arena opened in 1993, it was known by a simple, humble title that brought in no dough. Sadly, a few misguided souls want to return to the past. Think about it. What matters most? Three million-plus bucks a year? Or a chance to lift the visibility of a town that suffers unjustly from an inferiority complex?
On second thought, don't answer that. In Silicon Valley, we follow the money.