Name That Seat

High cost of personal seat licenses got you down? Why not sell naming rights to the chairs?

That’s the question posted by New York Jets season ticket holder and sports event marketer Howard Freeman. And even though he hasn’t run the idea past his lawyer or the team, the New York Times seems to think the idea has its merits.

“If teams can sell naming rights to buildings, entryways and portals, why not for my seats?” Freeman asked the Times.The question isn’t necessarily rhetorical. If personal seat licenses, or PSLs, confer the rights to transfer or sell seats, why not the right to display signage?

Sports business expert Marc Ganis told the paper that teams can control signage, “especially if there’s a commercial purpose. [The team] could block a seat cover, but if [a fan] wore a jacket that says ‘Joe’s Mortuary’ on the back of it, and drapes it over his seat, they couldn’t block that.”

A Jets spokesman confirmed to the Times that the team would not allow advertising seat covers.

It’s hard to fault Howard and other fans who are shelling out escalating fees for PSLs, even as the Jets and stadium roommates the New York Giants are trying to sell naming rights to a new stadium under construction. Some are seeking ways to offset the expense, from finding investors or partners to selling more of their game tickets online, according to the paper.

“I think the Jets will have to take a hard look at letting me do this, but they can’t afford any more bad publicity,” Freeman, a former marketing official for the NBA’s New Jersey Nets, told the Times.

He is seriously looking at a wish list of seat sponsors in categories like charcoal, outerwear and coolers. If he can’t get a naming-rights sponsor, he told the paper he is not sure he will keep his season tickets – which would save him the $15,000 PSL fee.