American Atheists Stadium?

American Atheists wants to buy the naming rights to the stadium in which the Super Bowl will be played.

The day after. Just for an hour. For $20,000.

Here are excerpts from the press release:

An Atheist public policy group is seeking hourly naming rights to the stadium the Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010 CE Super Bowl will be played in. The stadium has had seven names since it was built in 1987, including three names in the last twelve months. Most recently, the name was Land Shark Stadium for only eight months. The current naming rights winner, Sun Life Financial, will pay approximately $4 million per year in exchange for the stadium being known as Sun Life Stadium. American Atheists, Inc., applauds this effective development in what many see as America’s national unifying religion–professional sports — and is offering to participate by paying to have the stadium named “American Atheists Stadium” for one hour — from noon until 1 p.m. on 8 February 2010 CE, the day after the Super Bowl.

The idea for this venture into entrepreneurial advertising for the group came from Development Committee member (and long-time Miami sports fan) Todd Stiefel. Stiefel also found a major donor (who wants to remain anonymous) to back the ambitious plan. Stiefel said, “This is a natural for us. We’re quite proud of being good sports and of being quintessentially American in our values and ideas. Given that the naming rights have been sold by the month, it seems reasonable that they will be receptive to selling the name by the hour.”

Stiefel noted that the amount the group is offering, $20,000 for the official hour-long name change, “is at a considerably higher rate than the $460 per hour paid by Sun Life Financial. We accept and understand that they will get a volume discount for buying more hours than American Atheists. I cannot wait to see ‘American Atheists Stadium’ and ‘www.atheists.org’ posted on the building. This is super!”

“If the Sun Life Financial and the stadium owners are interested in our offer, we encourage them to contact us,” said American Atheists Vice President and Communications Director David Silverman, “if not, we will certainly be open to offers from other cities and other teams. Additionally, we would be receptive to counter-proposals, such as acquiring the stadium name for one punt or during the next ‘Hail Mary’ pass.”

Feel free to comment. I’ll write more later.

  • JoeNoHalo

    Can’t American Atheists find some better way to advertise itself? Spending that amount of money for one hour after all the fans have gone home seems ridiculous and not at all “super”. Stiefel said, “This is a natural for us.” What!? Was he sacked while not wearing a helmet?

    And what’s with insisting on using the “CE” (Common Era) after the dates in their press release? AA infuriates me with some of their ways. I much prefer FFRF, Richard Dawkins’ org. and others.

  • http://www.thatpinkmouse.com/bloggy Jenny Bliss

    that must get really confusing if its name keeps getting changed hehe THINK OF THE MAP MAKERS! :P aside from that sounds like a fun idea

  • Iztok

    My only question is why RSS feeds are so delayed on this site? I see posts here, I see posts on Facebook but RSS feed doesn’t show till hours or day later.

  • We Are The 801

    Hm. I could think of a lot better things to do with $20,000 than blowing it away on a one hour PR campaign… Quite frankly, I’ll be embarrassed if they end up doing it.

  • Epistaxis

    And they must call it the ATHEODROME!

  • http://mingfrommongo.livejournal.com mingfrommongo

    And I’ll stand behind it and tell everyone I’m ‘mingfrommongo beyond the atheodrome’

  • Richard Wade

    I think we should start a fund right here to rename the Sears Tower, just recently renamed the Willis Tower. For a generous $333.33 it could be renamed the “Hemant Mehta Friendly Atheist Tower” for one minute.

    We could have a big paper banner and a ribbon to cut and everything, quickly tape it up on the side of the building, have a 60 second ceremony and celebration, taking pictures and videos and stuff. Invite the press! It would be cool!

    Then go across the street for a beer.

  • Andrew Morgan

    Boo. Donate the money to a good cause or something. This is just silly. I think this just makes atheists look like petty attention-seekers, rather than thoughtful members of the community. At least the bus ads have a clear message; this just says to me, “Hey! Look at us! We … have money!”

  • Ashley Moltzan

    I agree. This is embarrassing and gives us a bad name and shows we just want attention.

  • Richard P

    I have a better idea, let’s all meet at the bar, use the $333.33 to buy the beer and discuss how it is a way better way to spend 333.33.

  • http://www.myspace.com/jasyn333 Jasyn Taylor

    This is retarded! There are so many ways $20,000 could be spent to show how great it is not to believe in religious gods. I’m almost embarrassed by this attention seeker publicity stunt. Why not just open up a homeless shelter or food bank with that money? Call it, ‘American Atheists for Healing Hunger’ or something.

    Tell us how we can stop these fools!

  • mkb

    I think that the idea is cute. It is highly unlikely to happen so any publicity associated with the offer will be free.

  • Darwin’s Dagger

    Worst. Idea. Ever.

    They should take the money and set up a scholarship fund for people who know better than to pray for financial aid.

  • JulietEcho

    Yeah, kind of an embarrassing time to be throwing around 20K (or offering to throw out 20K) for something so trivial.

    I know it wouldn’t *actually* represent all atheists, but I think nuance would be lost on most of the theists in America who would denounce this as (among other, far less valid criticisms) using money selfishly instead of using it to help Haiti or other good causes.

  • DGKnipfer

    What a waste of money. Don’t we have better ways to get our message out?

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    Could they buy it just for a minute for $333.33? Or what about just for 5 seconds for $27.78? If they had the camera on a tripod with the focus and exposure already set, they would have time within that 5 seconds to snap the picture with the billboard or whatever lit up. Then they could spend the remaining $19972.22 on a worthy cause.

  • David D.G.

    This is a ridiculous idea for publicity purposes. I don’t see how it can do anything positive for atheists or the acceptance of atheism, and I can already see multiple ways in which this could (and most likely would) backfire spectacularly.

    Just the fact that this idea is being taken seriously by an atheist organization, let alone pursued and publicized by it, is an incredible embarassment. Now I know how a lot of theists must feel when they are made to look bad by the antics of some person or organization of note in their group (e.g., Pat Robertson, the Pope, Focus on the Family, the KKK, etc.)

    ~David D.G.

  • http://atheistcamel.blogspot.com/ Dromedary Hump

    $20k could buy alot of freethinker bill boards in major cities.

    Better yet, if they donated it to Haiti it would make a bigger PR impact, and really help people.

    Damn stupid if you ask me.

  • Matt

    There are better ways to spend that kind of money. Haiti comes to mind. Why not make press with an impressive charity donation?

  • MeagD

    Incredible waste of money. I’m really surprised this is even being considered. What kind of PR do the American Atheists think they will be getting out of this, apart from being widely acknowledged as a group that spent 20K on a shitty advertising campaign in the wake of one of the most catastrophic natural disasters of our time.

    I couldn’t be less impressed. Who’s brilliant idea was this, exactly, and who should I contact to see to it that they are fired?
    -Cynical, jaded Canadian.

  • muggle

    What a horrendous waste of money just to ego boost. Makes us all look exactly like the stereotypes — hedonistic, uncaring jackasses.

    And, also, what am I now? An outsider amongst outsiders? I hate sports! Is this asshole now saying that’s even more sacreligious than spurning “God”?

    I can’t stand American Atheists. I second the opinion that FFRF is way better. Hell, Americans United, a mixed group of theists and nontheists, is.

  • http://reanhouse.blogspot.com Sarah

    Not a fan of the plan. I think it’s ill thought out and a pathetic attempt to get attention. Reminds me of the girls who flash their boobs at Mardi Gras to get some cheap plastic beads.

  • hazor

    I must agree with previous sentiments. This would be a very, very poor way to use that money.

    @Muggle: I’m not a fan either.

  • http://askepticbiblestudy.blogspot.com Nora

    My impression from reading that was that it was rather tongue-in-cheek and that AA wouldn’t really spend the $20k to do this. So I have no problem with this as a way to draw attention to our existence and make people think about whether they can continue to ignore, marginalize and stereotype atheists.

    If they actually go through and spend the $20k on it, then yeah, that’d be dumb.

  • WK

    Great idea. The only thing I can think of that will be more ineffectual, will generate worse PR, and will waste more money is if we send crate loads of the Audio-book version of “The God Delusion” along with CD players to Haiti.

  • Raleighzoom

    wow. So many posters here are totally irony free.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    Nora said:

    My impression from reading that was that it was rather tongue-in-cheek and that AA wouldn’t really spend the $20k to do this.

    I think you are probably right.

  • Neon Genesis

    ‘Great idea. The only thing I can think of that will be more ineffectual, will generate worse PR, and will waste more money is if we send crate loads of the Audio-book version of “The God Delusion” along with CD players to Haiti.” Or even better, we can make solar powered audio cassette versions of The God Delusion that can even play on the moon that we can send to Haiti.


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