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What's in a name? Cal to announce field naming rights deal

In major college athletics, it's all about the Benjamins. And Cal is no exception. California Memorial Stadium's field is about to be renamed.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

California Memorial Stadium is one of the most beautiful, picturesque settings for college football in America. But soon, our beloved Memorial Stadium will be known by another name - at least the field will be.

As reported this afternoon by the San Jose Mercury News:

Cal will announce a 15-year naming rights deal for the field at Memorial Stadium in a Thursday news conference, according to the firm that brokered the deal.

A Bay Area-based corporate sponsor with ties to Cal is on board, said Jesse Ryback, director of business development for Premier Partnerships.

Ryback would not divulge the name of the company or financial terms of the deal. But he said the partner is a non-traditional sponsor, similar to the deal his company arranged with the Coliseum in Oakland.

"It will be the most significant naming rights for a field to date for a college venue," Ryback said, stressing that the field sponsorship won't alter the traditional Memorial Stadium name.

"We'd be shocked if it wasn't replicated by a numnber of universities across the country to unlock revenue," he said.

Naming rights are an easy source of revenue for the athletic department. The only downside? The intangible feeling of selling out (especially considering that California Memorial Stadium was named in honor of those Californians who gave their lives in World War I) and -- well -- the risk of it being a name that's not that great. But I guess we'll find out on Thursday how desirable the name is.

What do you think, Cal fans? Good idea? Bad idea? And whom do you think the corporate sponsor is? Whom do you hope the corporate sponsor is? Let the speculation and/or fantasy begin.