Paris has a multi-sports complex at its eastern entrance that was built 30 years ago - the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy. It has just been renovated and the landlord, the City of Paris, has just given it a new name: AccorHotels Arena. The Accor hotel chain acquired a 10-year 'naming' right over it. I propose an analysis of this strategy: Will it be advantageous to Accor?
Let us look at it from two angles:
- The coherence between the site and the brand - if the sponsor's sector is directly related to that of the site (in this case, sports), the brand will come out a winner. Many insurance companies (for example, Allianz in Nice and Munich, MMA in Le Mans) have invested the sports domain - believing that there is a direct link between practicing a sport and sports insurance. Will not the first reaction of those visiting the Arena be, 'Oh, here's a new hotel!' What relationship is there between sports and the hotel industry?
- The public's practice of giving their own diminutives to such buildings – in other words, the name by which they are familiarly known. Since 1984 this complex has had two different names:
- Its 'administrative' name, POPB, which is the acronym of its official name;
- The name it is commonly known by: most people call it simply 'Bercy'.
We see in this a two-step move towards simplification: On the one hand, from the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy (much too long) to POPB (unpronounceable), and on the other, to 'Bercy'. The public thus gave it a short and simple moniker that also indicates its geographical location. What will be the diminutive of Accor Hotels Arena? The answer is clear – either 'Arena' or 'Bercy'. In all evidence 'Accor Hotels' will simply fall by the wayside and people will pick the simplest name.
What can we conclude from this? In both cases, the name is ambiguous (is it a hotel? What name should one retain?), compounded by the large logo where the hotel's name takes precedence over the name of the site (Arena). Could there have been another choice? Yes, of course: it would have been much more elegant and effective to call it ARENA by ACCORHOTELS.