The Return Of Ma Bell

San Antonio, Texas, telecom giant SBC Communications is one of the most widely branded companies when it comes to venue naming rights, but that’s about to change with its acquisition of AT&T.

Less than two years after announcing it was consolidating all of its subsidiary brands under the SBC banner, the company has announced that the acquisition will include the parent company taking on the AT&T moniker.

The switch will mean new names for at least four venues – San Antonio’s SBC Center, San Francisco’s SBC Park, Texas Tech University’s Jones SBC Stadium and SBC Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City. Some sporting events, including two PGA golf tournaments, college football events and some auto races, will also be affected.

There will be no naming rights renegotiations and no scaling back of sponsorships, and SBC officials hope for a smooth transition, according to the San Antonio Express-News. But an exec with the San Antonio Spurs basketball team isn’t so sure.

“Obviously, those letters on the building don’t come off real easy and go back on,” Spurs Sports & Entertainment VP Russ Bookbinder told the paper of the SBC logo. “It is everywhere from the napkins to the patches on the clothes the staff wears.”

At SBC Park, home of the San Francisco Giants baseball club, the change might be a little harder for fans to take. The rebranding to AT&T will mark the third name change in the five years since the stadium was built.